joi, 25 mai 2017

Mercury Rising, based on a book by Ryne Douglas Pearson

Mercury Rising, based on a book by Ryne Douglas Pearson
6 out of 10

A different version of this note and thoughts on other books are available at:

Mercury Rising is not an outstanding film.
But it has some fine moment.

The issue of autism is brought to the fore.
I must note here that I have read in a psychology book that all men are to some degree autistic.

Simon Lynch is a boy that has similarities with the hero of Rainman.
Some of the shortcomings, but a brilliant mind.

While looking in a magazine with games, he is attracted and seems to solve a very complicated enigma.
Which reminds one of The Imitation Game.

In The Imitation Game they selected those who would work to break the Enigma code based on their ability with crosswords and speed with which they solved them.
The NSA published a note thinking that they will check the human response to their powerful cyphering tools.

Some whistleblowers have exposed some of the nefarious activities of the NSA.
But their doings are exaggerated in Mercury Rising.

It makes of course for a more interesting scenario.
The unit in charge with these top secret codes is lead by Nick Kudrow.

He is played by Alec Baldwin...
Who is one of my favorite actors.

In Mercury Rising he is as a mean as in Glengarry Glen Ross.
In Glengarry, Alec Baldwin portrays a heartless executive who teaches the ABC to a group of salesmen:

Always Be Closing

-          You see this watch?
-          It costs more than your car!
-          Fuck you is who I am
-          First price is a Cadillac
-          Second prize is a set of knives...
-          Third prize is...your fired

The part of the nasty official in Mercury Rising is not at the level of the one in Glengarry Glen Ross.
I always thought that there are few good roles for Alec Baldwin...

-          Alas

Bruce Willis is not bad in the role of Art Jeffries.
In the first scenes, we see him infiltrated in a group of bank robbers.

His boss makes the wrong, deadly decision and people are killed.
Hence the familiar confrontation between the smarter, better, less humble, more gifted hero and his lousy superior officer.

When Simon calls the NSA number, they have him traced.
The agency - Nick Kudrow that is- is very unhappy with anyone able to read the inaccessible code.

So they send a hit man.
He kills the parents of the genius boy.

Simon hides and therefore escapes.
Art Jeffries is assigned.

His task is to find Simon.
And Bruce Willis Dies Hard and wins over any enemy.

After all he Died Hard four times?
Or was it five?

The good part about a film like this is that it proposes another take on autism.
And other conditions for that matter.

The shenanigans of various agencies and governmental bodies have been exposed before.
My view though is that they generally try to stay on the right side and use the correct methods...

Within limits.

The film is not overwhelming, but it would offer some good entertainment for a forgiving audience.

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