Mercury Rising (1998)

Genres - Action  |   Sub-Genres - Action Thriller, Chase Movie  |   Run Time - 112 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - R
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Review by Mike DiBella

Despite its star power and bulging budget, this is not your typical Hollywood action suspense thriller. Instead, it's a shade darker with a well-written script rife with conspiracy conjecture. Bruce Willis' pairing with a child prodigy actor was perhaps a foreshadowing of 1999's immensely successful The Sixth Sense. The young Miko Hughes gives a remarkable performance as Simon, Willis' autistic charge, and he and the Hollywood star work well together. While the story is not without holes, the film's bullet train pace offers little time to ponder them and the plot culminates cohesively. Alec Baldwin wades deep into his hard-boiled character and does particularly unforgettable work in a priceless tete-a-tete scene he shares with Willis. Harold Becker's keen adaptation of Ryne Douglas Peterson's Simon Says is also of great help to the film, as is Becker's use of the murky streets of Chicago, which underscores the shadowy content of the narrative. When all is said and done, Mercury Rising is a thoroughly plausible suspense thriller in which the stars don't outshine the story.