Reviewed by: Douglas A. Sirman
Starring: Mira Sorvino, Jeremy Northam, Josh Brolin, Charles Dutton, Giancarlo Giannini / Director: Guillermo del Toro / Released by: Dimension Films
Creepies and crawlies and long-leggedy beasties and things that go bump in the subways. If you’re bowled over by bugs and gross-out special effects, and not bothered by gratuitous profanity and dismembered children this creature-feature may be for you. Otherwise, don’t waste your time.
“Mimic” is yet another story of science gone bad. Entomologist Dr. Susan Tyler (Mira Sorvino) creates a species of insect through genetic manipulation which kills cockroaches, the carriers of a deadly disease killing the children of New York City. The bug, interestingly named the “Judas Bug” is engineered to die within six months of being released. Guess what? It doesn't! Instead, it “evolves” rapidly into man-sized proportions with an ability to approximate or “mimic” the appearance of a human. Trapped in abandoned subway tunnels which serve as a home for the Judas species, Dr. Tyler, her husband Dr. Peter Mann (Jeremy Northam), subway cop Leonard (Charles S. Dutton), CDC assistant Josh (Josh Brolin), and Italian stereotype Giancarlo Giannini race against time to destroy the bugs before the bugs destroy us. Will they make it? You bet your sequels they will!
With opening credits reminiscent of the hideously nihilistic “Seven”, the viewer is forewarned that we are not about to be treated to a sunny tale of adversity overcome. Filmed literally and figuratively in the dark, “Mimic” is jam-packed with nifty special effects, appalling profanity, passable character development, gore, unformed (or uninformed) religious allegory, and lots and lots of gross, icky bug-guts.
Sorvino and Northam are “OK”. Dutton plays the same character he did in “Alien 3”, only this time in uniform. Only five minutes into the film and you’ll figure out that Brolin will be an hors d'ourve. And that’s really the problem. Director “of the bull” (and that’s the truth) is unable to generate any real suspense and so relies heavily on standard shock shots. Apparently, Mr. del Toro hopes that the viewer will be too startled to realize that there’s nothing of worth here. In truth, at the end of the film, the viewer may be startled to realize that they’ve just blown seven bucks on nothing.
There’s no specific anti-Christian agenda here. Just an ugly, ugly movie. Not recommended.