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This article is about the movie. For the professional wrestling event, see DGUSA Mercury Rising.

Mercury Rising is a 1998 action thriller film starring Bruce Willis and Alec Baldwin. Directed by Harold Becker, the movie is based on Ryne Douglas Pearson's 1996 novel originally published as Simple Simon. Willis plays Art Jeffries, an undercover FBImarker agent who protects a nine year old boy with autism who is targeted by assassins after cracking a top secret government code.


A cryptographic code called "Mercury" was created by the National Security Agencymarker, so complex that its creators believe no computer on earth can decipher it. Originally created during the Reagan Administration as a test to keep the United States' highest priority secrets under wraps, their assumption is revealed to be false when they receive a message from an autistic savant boy named Simon Lynch (Miko Hughes) who calls a telephone number written in the code which was secretly published in a puzzle magazine by two of the creators, Dean Crandell and Leo Pedranski, to see if anyone could break it. Colonel Nick Kudrow (Alec Baldwin) sees the boy's ability to decipher the code as a liability and seeks to silence Simon, sending a hit man to murder Simon and his family.

After killing the boy's parents, the assassin searches the house, fails to find Simon, and leaves at the sound of approaching sirens. Art Jeffries (Bruce Willis) is an undercover FBImarker agent who protects Simon. He finds Simon hiding in a cache of his bedroom closet and takes the boy under his wing. Art begins to realize the difficulty of protecting, let alone questioning Simon, because of his impaired social abilities as a result of his autism. The situation is further complicated by the fact that nobody at the FBI believes Simon is in any danger, and Art is soon painted by the NSA as a kidnapper, with only his best friend and fellow agent Thomas Jordan (Chi McBride) aware that he did not commit the crime.

Meanwhile, Kudrow, upset by disagreement over how to handle the case, has Dean Crandell murdered when he starts to reveal the Mercury plans to Art. Leo Pedranski turns to Art for help; although shortly after he is murdered too, he manages to leave crucial evidence of Kudrow's crimes, which his girlfriend takes to the F.B.I. and Jordan discreetly arranges for her to meet with Art, and she shows them the evidence. After Art introduces himself to Kudrow at his birthday party, and demands that Kudrow lay off Simon Lynch, Art arranges for Simon to go into Witness Protection.

Although Kudrow tries to have the F.B.I. director help him stop Art and demands that Jordan tell him where he is, after Kudrow leaves Jordan shows the evidence to the F.B.I. director and he confirms that the fingerprint markings on it that he had checked confirmed the evidence against Kudrow is real. Art and a small F.B.I. task force led by Jordan has set a trap in which Kudrow is killed and the boy saved. The film ends with Art visiting Simon at his school, who embraces him as a welcome friend, having accepted him as a person of his trust.



The film received mostly negative reviews from film critics, garnering an 18% approval rating at Rotten Tomatoes.

Bruce Willis won the 1999 Golden Raspberry for his performance. Miko Hughes, however, won the category of Best Performance in a Feature Film - Leading Young Actor at the 1999 Young Artist Awards for his portrayal of Simon.

Box office

The film earned $10,104,715 in its opening weekend in 2,386 theaters. The film grossed $32,935,289 in the United States and $60,172,000 internationally for a total of $93,107,289.


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