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4 Ratings: 0.3
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Director: Guillermo del Toro
Genre: Sci-Fi, Horror, Action, Adventure, Fantasy
Release Date: August 22, 1997
MPAA Rating: R
1 review about Mimic

Enjoyable B-movie effort from Del Toro, who injects style, wit, and even scares into the tired genre

  • Sep 10, 2011
*** out of ****

B-movies are a form of classic relaxation for this movie-goer. I like them because they are, undeniably, mindless; but there is still some considerable craft that goes into making them as cheesy - but fun - as they are. So I'll say it takes a pretty good filmmaker to make a B-movie appealing. Guillermo Del Toro isn't exactly the first writer-director that you'd imagine making his very own B-movie, given that he's more of a true-storytelling kind of guy, but with "Mimic", I think he really pulls it off, and hits all the right notes.

There are many reasons why this makes for a fun B-movie and many other movies - those which are just plain bad - do not. For starters, it's DEL TORO directing; therefore, it's already got his whacky, unrestrained imaginative flourishes attached to it. He doesn't hold back, and I don't think he ever will; Del Toro needs to be creative or else he will most likely perish. He loves monsters, and he loves studying them, so there you have it; "Mimic" is, while different from some of his other films, still one of them overall. And that's good enough for me.

Nasty, slimy cockroaches are loose in the sewers of Manhattan; provoking the stereotypical, sometimes funny, and sometimes annoying characters of the film to investigate such an infestation, and what the source of it is. As it turns out, the cockroach mutants have been released as the failed result of an experiment, which was intended as a study leading to the cure of an infectious, deadly disease. The heroine (Mira Sorvino), her husband (Jeremy Northam), and a black police-man team up to fight against the (bug) masses; in a film that's easy to enjoy and difficult to forget.

Del Toro is a good storyteller who can entertain through both his visual stylistics and his screenplays. I really enjoyed his two "Hellboy" films, both of which I thought were witty, fun, well-acted, and visually stunning from start-to-finish. Those are the kinds of films that Del Toro has been making since his directorial debut, "Cronos", and with luck; these are the films that he will continue to make. This is not his best film, in fact, in terms of his overall filmography, it's probably one of his worst; but "Mimic" is never boring, never uneven, and never stupid outside of the typical, expected, intentional areas.

The last act of the film is entirely cliché; with the giant mutant bugs attacking trains in the subways and such. People die, people bleed, people scream; yes, I think we all know the drill. The creatures jump out and attack the human characters, but the fun aspect of this formula is the fact that we can root for these death scenes and not feel particularly guilty about it. Don't go into the film expecting good characters, or a particularly good plot, really; go in expecting a B-movie by way of Del Toro. That's what you get; that's what was intended.

The jump scares are fun, the cinematography and production design are lush and beautiful, and the creature effects are admirable. If you can get past the presumably intentional silliness of "Mimic", it suddenly becomes this super-enjoyable monster flick that admittedly borrows from other films, but not without being its own movie. Del Toro would never copy; he takes influence, rather. He also co-wrote this film, which means he wasn't AS involved as he has been in his films to come, but he was involved nonetheless. "Mimic" looks like a Del Toro film, feels like a Del Toro film, and plays like one too. There are flaws, but for all I know; they may have all been purely the directorial intent. But no matter what flaws it may have, as far as B-monster-movies go, this is a pretty darn good one.

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