April 5, 1998 -- If you've seen the trailer for "Mercury Rising," then you know the whole plot. There are no surprises. This is a by-the-numbers action movie, but it does have a little extra heart and some solid performances.
Bruce Willis stars as Art Jeffries, an FBI agent who becomes embroiled in a local murder case which turns out to be a vast government conspiracy. The National Security Agency is gunning down half the people in town trying to kill a 9-year-old kid named Simon (beautifully played by Miko Hughes) because he inadvertently broke a top-secret government security code. Jeffies is the only man who can protect the kid.
This is basically "Die Hard Meets Rainman" because the kid is autistic. Jeffries gets help from a fellow agent, Thomas "Bizzi" Jordan (Chi McBride) and a stranger, Stacey, (Kim Dickens) and others in the NSA. Jeffries and Simon are pursued relentlessly by the agents of Lt. Colonel Nicholas Kudrow (Alec Baldwin) who wants to protect his reputation and the top-secret code known as Mercury.
The film becomes a fairly predictable series of chases, hidings, shoot outs and fights with a little detective work thrown in. It isn't a very smart or inventive plot, but it works because of good performances, mainly by Willis and Hughes. The relationship between the two really carries the film, but there really are no weak performances. Be warned, however, this is not a warm and fuzzy movie. It is very violent and there is a lot of blood. It rates a C+.
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