04/13/1998 at 01:00 AM EDT
allegedly shooting down their fellow students in Jonesboro, Ark., is still all too fresh in most minds, the last thing one wants to see is an ammo-saturated movie in which a 9-year-old autistic child is targeted for assassination.
Mercury Rising's alleged plot has the kid deciphering a top-secret government code. Rather than change the code, covert agency head Baldwin decides to whack the kid. Willis, an FBI agent, tries to protect the boy. As directed by Harold Becker (City Hall), none of this seems even remotely plausible or entertaining. Neither Willis nor Baldwin are given much in the way of character or dialogue to work with, nor do they strike sparks in their few scenes together. (R)