Mercury Rising - 3 stars out of 10
"Mercury Rising" looked so great from its synopsis... but the synopsis was just vague enough to completely mislead me. In an ode to "WarGames," a young boy accidentally deciphers a secret government code. To heighten the interest of the film, the boy is autistic. At this point, one would expect the film to explore the discovery of the code and show how it is used for good or for evil; instead, it turns the film into "Die Hard" with an autistic kid. Let's see which will draw audiences in better: "An autistic 9-year-old boy cracks the U.S. government's top-secret code when an unapproved test matrix gets published in a crossword magazine" OR "Bruce Willis plays typical heroic character while protecting a kid from assassins for two hours." Well played, Universal. Movie #1 interested me while I never would have given Movie #2 a chance. Even though the plot stinks, this could have been a great vehicle for Miko Hughes to have his Rainman role, but he doesn't. His portrayal of autism is more offensive than it is empathetic. Meanwhile, Alec Baldwin doesn't do much of anything and Bruce Willis is about 30% shy of being John McClane. The film has a few interesting plot twists with several characters unsuspectingly killed off but it isn't enough to make up for the weak acting performances and the bland script.