Mercury Rising

Yeah, so it's another Bruce Willis movie.
"Someone knows too much."

Look at the boastful poster! It claims this was Bruce Willis' best film yet. That's ridiculous because it came out after all 3 Die Hards, The Fifth Element, The Jackal, 12 Monkeys and Hudson Hawk! (hahaha just kidding Hudson Hawk totally sucks ass, but those other ones I meant.) I wanted to prove to everyone, and maybe also myself, that I could provide a negative review to a Bruce Willis movie, while not having to watch or talk about Hudson Hawk in depth. This is that movie.

Movies that play into people's fear that the government has huge, nearly limitless resources that it uses exclusively to oppress random unimportant citizens, particularly if it allows them to kill the maximum number of bystanders. Essentially the idea is that the head of every government agency or project is actually a serial killer, who is waiting until the movie to spiral out of control in pursuit of the main character (Conspiracy Theory, Enemy of the State, Eraser to name a few). Shuffle the players around but in the end you get more or less the same end product. This iteration features Bruce Willis as a loose cannon FBI agent who doesn't play by the rules (Wow he's really playing against type eh gang?) who is on the outs and ends up protecting a young autistic boy from the ruthless Nick Kudrow (Alec Baldwin) who sends assassins to kill him and his parents. Why? Because this little boy solves a puzzle in a book that is apparently a NSA code, which the codemakers had hidden their phone number in. Rather than fix the code, which would cost money, Kudrow decides that he is going to hire some guys to kill the kid, his parents, and anyone else who gets in the way, and then cover it up. I'm not an expert on cover ups or wet work, but I am confused as to how doing these things is easier and more cost effective than just fixing the code. Particularly when Kudrow's plan also ends up involving killing his code guys too. The body count he racks up really starts to get out of hand (see like a serial killer!) but that doesn't stop Kudrow from riding this crazy train straight to hell. We have no choice but to ride along, while Bruce Willis works to try and keep his autistic charge out of harms way.
Available at every news stand.
About the boy Simon. He was played by Miko Hughes, who had a pretty good run as 'the child', in movies including Kindergarten Cop, Apollo 13, and Spawn (I'm sorry to mention) among others. He received an award for his performance in this movie! Too bad it was in a movie almost as bad as Spawn (ok that's maybe too harsh).  This movie is a member of a proud tradition of media that want you to believe that having autism isn't a debilitating developmental disorder, but rather a magic spell that gives you super powers. Particularly I
enjoy the robotic processing notes that play  Not just an autistic person, but an autistic child can hack an NSA code, one that is supposedly unbreakable. Better yet, how does a small child end up with the code at all? Do government agents often put their top secret ciphers in puzzle books? When I do a word jumble, am I cracking the secret Navajo code they used in Windtalkers? Apparently the answer is yes. The movie never really stops being ridiculous, with Bruce Willis' Art Jeffries doing the typical suspense movie thing, and somehow ropes a lady into his dangerous attempt to stop Kudrow from killing a small child. This lady is portrayed by Kim Dickens, and appears to serve no purpose other than for there to be a lady in the movie for some reason. She becomes instant friends with Simon, and is strangely willing to let a strange man and his child companion into her home when he appears, late at night.

That's how I'd look if I was next
to Bruce Willis.
It is worth mentioning that Bruce Willis actually won a razzie for worst actor in this movie. Scratch that, what I meant was that he won this award from a combination of Mercury Rising, The Siege, AND Armageddon, two other movies with Bruce Willis in them that were not good, though I think we can agree that the suckiness of Armageddon can hardly be blamed on Bruce Willis. This was a much worse disaster for Bruce Willis though, because no matter how much of a ridiculous, Michael Bay piece of crap it might have been, Armageddon grossed more than 550 million. I can't say the same for Mercury Rising. While it might have had a much smaller budget,(60 mil instead of Armageddon's 140) Mercury Rising grossed only 93 million altogether, (yes that's including international grossing), and was completely savaged by critics. I decided however, that it deserved to be savaged again, because it is both fanciful, and dumb. This isn't entirely its own fault, because the whole government conspiracy genre is kind of stupid to begin with.

One more thing about Armageddon, and how much it was stupid. Somehow Armageddon was tied for best science fiction film with Dark City for it's year. I have already spent a whole post defending Dark City but really? Armageddon? They have a space buggy with a machine gun on it, and oil rig drillers in space. Come on guys.
On Thursday I review a movie that managed to be less stupid than Mercury Rising: Wild Wild West. Rather than panning it, I will suggest that, while ridiculous, it is comparatively less ridiculous than it initially appears.
Any damsel that's in distress, be outta dat dress when she meet Jim West.

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