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on 27 September 2009
When an autistic boy decodes a government national security code FBI agent Art (Willis) is assigned to protect him from assassination.

10 years on from the first Die Hard film and Bruce Willis starred in a cop role once more as an FBI agent and whilst there is no swagger and humour in this film, the serious nature of Willis' character once more sees the actor on top form in a stunning crime drama.

The opening sees Art undercover and after a confused result Art makes his feelings known which sets him on the way to be reassigned to detective work, which sets the drama rolling.

A sentimental montage sees Miko Hughes' protagonist Simon coming home from school, making a cup of hot chocolate before going to bed with his father. It is very heart-warming without being cheesy as the nature of Simon's autism is depicted with sentimental understanding dialogue and appreciation of the disease. Obviously autism is a very delicate issue to tackle which the script appreciates. From Simon's constructed environment to the untimely departure from his family the script weaves around how uncomfortable it is for the young boy. His familiar surroundings are taken away as Art struggles to keep Simon out of trouble.

Hughes is the catalyst of this film with a very powerful turn as Simon. The slow speech to the lack of eye contact is a remarkable trait of autism and for such a young person to comprehend and tackle such ideologies is staggering.

Despite the nature of the drama encoded into this 1998 picture there is still plenty of action and thrilling suspense to generate that bold masculinity. A too close to call train sequence to the final helicopter showdown this is every bit as tense as the last Die Hard picture. And given the nature of the plot and the lead up to the conclusion, it is little wonder.

Director Harold Becker is able to cement realism to the picture through careful planning but bold assertiveness. From Simon's dramatic walk on the edge in the end to the shooting of one of the team in his own apartment everything is thought out in real life motion. The wine scene in Alec Baldwin's cellar is a bit of an awkward arrival at confrontation but the knock over moment is vintage Willis bravado.

It will take an exceptional script to knockout the character John McClane. Willis has his moments in cocky cheek in this picture and adds a strong drama to his protagonist. But if you're looking for the same spice as a John McClane epic, then this isn't it.

This is in many respects better as we dive deep into an emotional journey of autism with still a strong crime fast paced script that spills with emotional value with just enough action and suspense to make it a very watchable and appreciable picture

8.5/10
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 22 June 2012
Bruce Willis stretches his acting muscles in this competent and seemingly forgotten thriller. In order to test their work, CIA boffins embed a secret code into a cereal box competition and are entirely surprised when someone telephones to claim the prize. Their unhappy masters dispatch a kill squad to remove the family; however, the autistic child who cracked the code manages to hide away. Bruce Willis plays the homicide detective who finds the child and has to keep him safe whilst taking down the bad guys. The portrayal of autism is perhaps a little too real for its own good here in that the child remains very distant and although we do care for the character, the script doesn't allow us to develop the kind of empathy reached in the Dustin Hoffman vehicle Rain Man. The locations are fine but on the downside, some of the interior shots are really poorly lit. The action nips along at a decent pace and the cast do a good job of convincing us who they are.
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This is a clever plot - we see 'Art Jeffries' (Bruce Willis) renegade F.B.I agent goes head to head
to protect a 9-year-old boy 'Simon Lynch' (Miko Hughes) who has cracked a high profile and
unbreakable code, it seems he can read a 'Mercury' advanced encryption code.
Shock waves and panic shake the NSA agency when it is realized a 9-year old has broken the
code, Head of Op's 'Nick Kudrow' (Alec Baldwin) orders that the threat be eliminated knowing he
was ordering the elimination of a 9-year-old disabled child.
What 'Kudrow' hasn't counted upon was that 'Agent Jefferies' would take it upon himself to protect
'Simon'
'Art' realizes the injustice of the situation, trouble is who can he trust, as he sets out to right the
wrongs, friend and colleague 'Tommy B Jordon' (Chi McBride) seems to be the only one, he also
befriends a complete stranger 'Stacy' (Kim Dickens) to watch 'Simon' while he try's to prove that
he and 'Simon' are not the enemy.
These are desperate times as 'Art' try's to avoid the pursuing assassins.
( A great portrayal by young 'Miko Hughes' of what is a widespread condition, Autism, strangely as
depicted in the film, many Autistic children have unexpected awareness)
This is an often exciting movie that contains many good action sequences and bravely tackles often
misunderstood disability issues, the film often poignant and touching.
'Bruce Willis' gives a typical performance, the kind of role that made him a household favourite.
Great Picture and Sound Quality ( A Good HD upgrade)
(Quite a while since I last watched this one, probably on DVD or even VHS (Certainly worth a re-visit)
Blu-ray Exclusives -
Access BD-Live Centre through your internet connected player and download even more bonus content,
the latest trailers and more.
Additional Features -
* Watch The Mercury Rising
* Deleted Scenes
* D-Box Motion Enabled. (Because the version I own is a U.S Import the features listed may differ)
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on 16 April 2013
Blu-ray all zone

Ratio of the feature film:
2.35:1

Languages of the feature film:
- DTS Master Audio 5.1: English
- DTS 5.1: Japanese, French, German, Italian, Castilian Spanish
- DTS 2.0: Latin Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, Russian

Subtitles for the feature film:
- Japanese, French, Italian, Castilian Spanish, German, Latin Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Greek, Korean, Norwegian, Portuguese, Swedish, Thai, Traditional Mandarin and English for the hearing impaired

Verdict:
A very good picture with an excellent sound and music. I have to say that Miko Hughes who plays the autistic boy is excellent.
The little bonus is the superb score by John Barry which is very subtle and add a dramatic dimension to the film.
(no bonus except the feature film)

Enjoy !
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 17 February 2016
Although this is undoubtedly an entertaining action thriller what makes this movie unique is the outstanding performance of Miko Hughes as 9 year old Simon Lynch, an extremely vulnerable autistic boy, who becomes the target of American government assassins after he unwittingly deciphers a top secret code called ‘Mercury’. Simon’s loneliness, isolation and ultra-sensitivity are skilfully presented while his ‘meltdowns’ are particularly disturbing and affecting. Bruce Willis plays his role well as a disgraced FBI Agent with a strong moral code who is sent to investigate a missing child case and stumbles upon a national security conspiracy while Alec Baldwin is suitably morally corrupt and duplicitous as a high ranking officer in the NSA. The scenes between Bruce Willis and Miko Hughes are particularly poignant (the final couple of minutes being especially heart-breaking), and in the same way as Barry Levinson’s Rainman opens a window to world unknown to many of us. Highly recommended.
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on 2 April 2015
This is a more modern film than I useualy go for but the lead actor is very good Bruce Willis, he is a man who used to work for the FBI but has branched out on his own, he meets up with this young Ladd and that is when the adventures start, it is mainly based in and around an American subway.
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on 22 April 2014
I normally shy away from movies with sweet little kids in them. Not this time the acting from the lad in this movie is quite amazing. The way his eyes follow you around is quite hypnotic. Good story great action super film all round . Buy this one folks
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on 13 October 2011
Willis is impressive (and softer) as an F.B.I. agent who protects an autistic boy who has cracked a major government code. Baldwin appears as the man who is threatened by the young boys' actions. Surprisingly good film with a more toned down type of hero for star Willis.
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on 24 November 2011
I have seen this movie on tv it was great then and had to have it when I saw it on Amazon, Bruce Willis is always a winner but the child actor I thought was exceptional as, was Alec Baldwin, I hadn't seen him in this type of character before a very enjoyable movie if a little nailbiting.
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on 15 January 2014
The NSA has developed what they think is an unbreakable code. They ran a test to see if anyone can decipher it by putting it in a puzzle magazine.

Simon Lynch, an autistic boy, deciphers it and calls the NSA. The men in charge call their boss Kudrow, who is worried what might happen if this gets out, and orders Simon to be killed.

The man he sends kills his parents and leaves when the police arrive. The FBI send Art Jeffries to look for the boy.

Art finds Simon, and they go on the run......

In the nineties, Willis lost his star power a little, and every now and again, he starred in your typical generic action thriller. And like Striking Distance, Last Man Standing, and The Jackal, it's nothing special, but its a must for Willis fans.

As always in these types of movies, it starts with a set-up, this one leading to a bit of a meltdown for Art. He's involved in a robbery gone wrong and would you know it, it ends in a boy getting killed, thus Art will stop at nothing to protect Simon.

The rest of the film involves Willis and Hughes (who is excellent) on the run from your atypical assassin, with supporting characters getting killed every now and again, with only Chi McBride as a friend, as the police are after him too.

Baldwin is fine, but its little more than an extended cameo, with the two stars only meeting the once.

The ending is silly, but its a nice little thriller which won't challenge the brain, with a nice ending.

Plus, this film must hold the record for how many people actually duck when the main hero cries 'get down'.

It won't win Willis any more fans, but it does its job.
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