11 February 2013 | ogdendc
Not a great film but a great performance by Miko Hughes
There are two great acting performances in this film. Bruce Willis plays Art Jeffries, an FBI agent with attitude. Miko Hughes plays Simon Lynch, an autistic savant with a gift for codebreaking. Both are believable but Miko Hughes is astonishing – one of the best ever screen performances by a child. The scenes between the pair of them are really touching and you can believe that Willis really likes kids. Perhaps he does.
The US government's pursuit of Lynch in this film may at first appear overly far-fetched and scaremongering. Then you remember the US attitude towards the British savant, Gary McKinnon, who was accused of perpetrating the biggest military computer hack of all time by hacking into 97 US military and NASA computers in 2002. Well, they didn't kill his mum and dad, and hunt him like an animal. But after 10 years of attempted extradition, and speculation of a 70-year jail term, maybe this story is just an exaggeration of reality, and not quite as ridiculous as some commentators have suggested.
It's not really a downside but if you come to this film expecting a shoot-em-up action movie, you may be disappointed. It's much more than that and consequently slower – it's a touching drama with action scenes, and so we can forgive, just about, the pace through the middle of the film. The writing is actually very good and Pearson, Konner and Rosenthal all deserve credit.
I did find the score a bit distracting. Sort of 'too big' and too 'James Bond' for the film. Scenes without music were better. Though the music being played at the club Jeffries visits was really good and I would have liked to have heard more of Koko Taylor (now no longer with us) belting out some blues.
I was finding it difficult to see where this film was going. When Wills is with a kid, like in 16 blocks or Die Hard 4, you expect a visible end point, and there wasn't one. There was a sense of going around in circles. Until the last 5 minutes. Ultimately that cost it a couple of stars and the score lost another one. So seven out of ten for this.