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movie reviewmovie review out of 4 Movie Review: Mimic

Starring: Mira Sorvino, Jeremy Northam
Director: Guillermo Del Toro
Rated: R
RunTime: 105 Minutes
Release Date: August 1997
Genres: Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Horror, Suspense

*Also starring: Alexander Goodwin, Giancarlo Giannini, Alix Koromzay, Josh Brolin, F. Murray Abraham

Review by Walter Frith
2 stars out of 4

'Mimic' is a grade 'a' idea given the 'b' movie treatment. It has all the trappings of that genre. People not knowing what to make of a strange phenomenon at first. People trapped in a desperate situation confronting the deadly menace and finally how to kill the intruder and is that intruder killed off convincingly?

A bug scientist (Mira Sorvino) has invented a species of insect that will help prevent the spread of a deadly disease affecting children when they are bitten by a cockroach. The pests are primarily found in the New York City subway tunnels and make their way forward and the new insects created are supposed to counter their efforts. They are turned loose in the location mentioned but three years after the incident there is a new problem. The experimental bugs follow the theory of evolution and spawn a new form of species, one that is part insect and part human! Ooh, how hidious!! Yes, it is. Unfortunately what the film does is take an inventive situation and it's given the old clandestine treatment with only a few people knowing about it and finding out what to do about it.

One of the best clandestine stories of terror in recent years was 1995's '12 Monkeys' in which one man traveled back in time to find a way to stop a deadly virus from spreading across the globe and killing 99% of the world's population. That film focused on a re-occurring nightmare by its leading character and had a sense of unpredictability. 'Mimic' can't escape that. It is predictable.

However, for all the flaws it contains, it is still a biting (no pun intended) and potentially scary movie which flows like gasoline about to hit the fire. The cast is admirable and Charles S. Dutton has some good moments as one of the trapped people fighting off the monsters. Large insects creations have been pain stakingly created to look exactly what they're intended to be and every attention to detail has been attended to.

'Mimic' suffers from the same problem as Peter Hyams' 'The Relic' did earlier this year and that is reflecting a story by constantly filming in dreary, dark and unsavory places where the audience is forced to return every once in awhile and the need for a breath of fresh air is denied. This is what killed 'Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom' (1984) where the primary setting was in the cave of a deadly cult and the film eventually became trivial. 'Mimic' is done with a slight dose of originality but it is forgettable.

Copyright 1997 Walter Frith

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