Wednesday, February 5, 2014

1PanelReview Mercury Rising

Right off disappointing modern Die Hard films, allow me to review...

Bruce Willis movies that would make better Die Hard installments than Live Free or Die Hard.

What it is: Mercury Rising 

Which is: An Action/thriller film
Directed by: Harold Becker
Year: 1998

Released in 1998, Mercury Rising is an action/thriller film directed by Harold Becker, starring Bruce Willis as FBI Agent Art Jeffries and Alec Baldwin as the main bad guy. The film was actually based on the 1996 novel Simple Simon written by Ryne Douglas Pearson.

What's Good about it: It's Bruce Willis playing a down-on-his-luck cop FBI Agent. So that's always fun.
Mercury Rising follows the story of a little kid with autism who is able to break a top secret code titled "Mercury". If the title doesn't make much sense (or has some crude double sense nowadays), the original title was actually Mercury Falling - which was changed at the last minute in late-production - which would have been a bit better. 
Alec Baldwin plays here a corrupt suit. The NSA had hidden their "Mercury" code, a code no computer should be able to decipher. It's always fun watching Alec Baldwin in these sort of epic thriller films. Be it as a good guy or the villain, he always bring this kind of badass calm sense of superiority.
The little boy, Miko Hughes as the 9 years old autistic savent boy Simon Lynch was great. Even though he can be kinda annoying as a character, he played better than anyone could have hoped for.
Autism is presented here with some great respect, the movie was able to make more people aware of it at the time.
It's a great thriller about shady government agents tracking someone who knows way too much.. Without noticing nothing would have happened if they hadn't bothered to track the little kid who cracked the code.

What's Bad about it: It opens with a flashback scene, in which an hostage negotiation goes sideways when a 14 years old kid died in a bank robbery Willis' character Art Jeffries was working on. Personally I would have loved to see that scene stretched as an entire film. The film does lose some of its momentum over its runtime.
The film is not without several flaws. It's a bit cheesy at times. Well, most times.
The music was composed by John Barry. It's not that particularly unique or memorable, a bit too soft and playing on clichés cues for emotional response from the audience.
The ending gets really over the top. And I mean REALLY over the top. (although I guess this can be a good point for some)

Overall: Mercury Rising is more than just Die Hard with an autistic kid (who actually played is part much better than Justin Long in Die Hard 4).

Even though it was nominated for a Rasberry Award at the time, I really don't think it deserves so much flak. There's so much worse out there (even that year alone).

It's actually a pretty good movie with some heart. Showing Bruce Willis as a badass who actually cares.

Bruce Willis plays here a softer sort of protagonist. It has that great sense of urgency and wrong place at the wrong time-kind of hero that Die Hard fans will like, even though it's far from the quality of the original Die Hard trilogy.
I give it: 2 / 3 Quacks!
[How does my Rating System work?]

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