Mercury Rising (1998)

Mercury Rising (1998)
  • Time: 111 min
  • Genre: Action | Crime | Drama
  • Director: Harold Becker
  • Cast: Bruce Willis, Alec Baldwin, Miko Hughes


Simon is a nine-year-old autistic boy who has cracked the government’s new “unbreakable” code. This skill renders the new billion-dollar secret code vulnerable, especially if enemies of the United States should learn of Simon’s abilities and capture him. Program chief Nick Kudrow orders the “security threat” eliminated, but Kudrow hasn’t counted on renegade FBI agent Art Jeffries (Bruce Willis).


One comment

  • Given the generally poor advance word on this film I approached it with some trepidation, but despite the fact that many critics seemed to hate this film and that audiences generally seemed to stay away I found Mercury Rising to be a surprisingly well made and for the most part effective little thriller.

    Granted it’s nothing strikingly original, but the script by Lawrence Konner & Mark Rosenthal is nicely adapted from it’s source novel (‘Simple Simon’ by Ryne Douglas) and maintains it’s pace well, while veteran director Harold Becker handles his duties with obvious ease.

    It also boasts some fine acting, with Bruce Willis’ understated performance working well, and Miko Hughes being impressive in his difficult role of the autistic Simon, while Kim Dickens as the woman that reluctantly befriends them also gives a very good, well judged performance. Even most of the supporting cast such as Peter Stormare, Chi McBride, Robert Stanton, Bohdi Pine Elfman, L.L. Ginter, Carrie Preston, Lisa Summerour, Kelley Hazen, John Carroll Lynch and Richard Riehle all manage to provide good, solid performances which adds to the films overall effect.

    However there is one major problem acting wise and that is the usually excellent Alec Baldwin who really lets the side down as he chews the scenery and generally overacts badly as the films chief bad guy Nicholas Kudrow. In fact Baldwin’s performance badly detracts from what is for the most part a well paced, nicely handled film.

    Still all in all Mercury Rising is a satisfying, undemanding thriller that is in fact much better than most critics seemed to have given it credit for. Nothing earth shattering, and the ending is a touch cliched but overall this still manages to be quite an enjoyable, if unspectacular film and more than sustains its runtime.

    One man’s opinion. 7/10

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