Mercury Rising (1998)

Rating: D-

Dir: Harold Becker
Star: Bruce Willis, Alec Baldwin, Miko Hughes, Chi McBride

By chance, a couple of days ago I watched Die Hard — from Mercury‘s point of view this was a bad move, since that one shows up what a feeble actioner this is, and how far Willis has fallen. I mean, what was the last film he was good in? [Not to be confused with the last good film he was in: The Fifth Element] This one has him looking after an autistic kid, who has cracked a government code and is thus being hunted by rogue elements of the NSA. Zzzzz.

Any child would be bad enough, but using a mentally handicapped one is a cynical marketing ploy if ever I saw one, and it severely restricts the witty action-movie banter when one protagonist is largely limited to shrieking “Art is a stranger!” This might count as some profound philosophical comment, except that Art is the name of Bruce’s character. It delivers the usual “no-one to trust” schtick, without any flair or innovation, and you know they’re never going to kill the brat. You may find yourself sympathising with the NSA most of the time.