Mercury Rising (1998)

MERCURY RISING is an entirely adequate thriller, starring Bruce 
Willis as an FBI agent-on-the-run, protecting a 9-year old autistic 
savant from the big bad NSA agents that want his cryptography 
cracking cranium crushed.  While neither action-oriented nor one-
liner witty nor even particularly believably plotted, this week's 
TITANIC challenger gets *one* thing right:  it manipulates the Hell 
out of an audience.  You know, lots of shots of a child in peril, 
cruel comments about the disabled, etc. etc.  (Last night's crowd 
all gasped in the right places.)  Alec Baldwin plays the brains be-
hind the bloodletting and, while he gets maybe twenty minutes of 
screen time tops, his private wine cellar confrontation with Willis 
is worth waiting for.  (They call each other names; Willis kicks 
Baldwin in the chest.  Hooray for the home team.)  The big finish, 
involving a rooftop helipad and lots of breaking glass, is less 
exciting than it should be, but, you know, that's the movie: when 
it's slow, it's sleep-inducing; when it picks up, it never *really* 
picks up.  (Bad blue-screen effects affect a couple key sequences.)   
Still, you gotta love the local color.  When Willis wanders into a 
Chicago blues bar, there's Koko Taylor belting her best.  Yeah, she 
got more screen time in BLUES BROTHERS 2000, but I ain't complain-
in'.  Directed by Harold Becker (CITY HALL, MALICE).  (Rated "R"/
~105 min.)

Grade: C 

Copyright 1998 Michael J. Legeros
Movie Hell is a trademark of Michael J. Legeros

Originally posted to triangle.movies in MOVIE HELL: Simon Says

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Copyright 2001 by Michael J. Legeros -Movie Hell™ is a trademark of Michael J. Legeros