Greetings Earthlings! 🙂
It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these, so today I would like to take a quick look at the 1998 political action film (not a genre one would immediately associate with autism)- ‘Mercury Rising‘.
So how does this action film relate to autism?
In this film, the NSA has created a cryptographic super-code (Mercury) that was thought to be unbreakable by any computer in the world. However, following the release of the code in a childrens puzzle book in order to test it, autistic savant (not again!!! 😛 ) Simon easily cracks it. This simple act puts his life in danger as contract killers are sent to silence him as the NSA believe him to be a liability. FBI agent Art Jeffries, played by Bruce Willis, is assigned the difficult task of protecting Simon from these killers whilst also navigating the social and behavioural challenges associated with his autism.
You can check out a trailer for the film below:
Honestly, I found the film to be particularly tedious (not a desirable quality for an action film), and really struggled to make it through to the end. 2 hours is a loooong time for a boring film! 😛
As to the film’s portrayal of autism, you know what I’m going to say- we NEED to stop perpetuating the stereotype of the autistic savant! As I have discussed many times, this is a RARE characteristic (roughly 1 in 10 autists), and yet almost every film I’ve seen that features autism depicts this rare trait in some form or another! 😛
Give me strength!
Aside from this, whilst the film did touch on such important topics as ‘wandering’ and issues of trust (which are not always depicted where autism is considered), I just felt that this character was highly stereotyped and that autism was poorly portrayed overall and at times was a little insulting. In fact the original book that this film is based on was titled ‘Simple Simon!’😲😒
This may even perhaps be one of the worst depictions of autism on screen in my opinion.
So all in all, if you need a good sedative, or are a huge Bruce Willis fan, this film’s for you! 😛 😉
Enjoy the weekend everyone! 🙂