Time: 112 Minutes
Age Rating: Violence
Mira Sorvino as Dr. Susan Tyler
Jeremy Northam as Dr. Peter Mann
Josh Brolin as Josh Maslow
Charles S. Dutton as Officer Leonard Norton
Giancarlo Giannini as Manny Gavoila
F. Murray Abraham as Dr. Gates
Director: Guillermo del Toro
A disease carried by common cockroaches is killing Manhattan children. In an effort to stop the epidemic, an entomologist, Susan Tyler (Mira Sorvino), creates a mutant breed of insect that secrets a fluid to kill the roaches. This mutant breed was engineered to die after one generation, but three years later Susan finds out that the species has survived and evolved into a large, gruesome monster that can mimic human form.
I was watching Mimic to complete Guillermo Del Toro’s filmography, which from what I had heard prior to seeing it, it’s been generally known as his worst movie, mostly because of studio interference from the Weinsteins. With that said, I heard that the director’s cut was a pretty good movie, and having seen it now, I agree with this (at least with that version). It is definitely a step below most of Del Toro’s other movies, but as a 90s B movie monster flick, with his direction, and some of the acting, it was quite a lot of fun.
I watched the director’s cut of Mimic, and if you are going to watch this movie, this is the version that you should watch. The script isn’t anything special, it’s not exactly unpredictable, and is pretty by the numbers and typical of a monster horror movie with giant bugs. At its core, Mimic feels like a studio film, more so than a Guillermo Del Toro film (despite it being a horror movie with creatures and monsters). However, the movie moves at a fast enough pace, and works at its length of over an hour and 45 minutes long. It was entertaining and thrilling for its runtime, and I enjoyed watching it quite a bit.
The cast do work reasonably well in their roles, even if those characters aren’t particularly well written or developed. Mira Sorvino is in the lead role and she’s pretty great on her part. Other actors in the movie including Jeremy Northam, Charles S. Dutton, Giancarlo Giannini, F. Murray Abraham and even a younger Josh Brolin in one of his earlier film appearances also give some good performances.
This being his second feature film (after Cronos), Guillermo Del Toro does pretty well for his first English language movie. Again, this is in the director’s cut and no doubt it is much different in the theatrical cut. In the version I saw however, it was directed quite well, and in fact that added a lot to the film. I love the dark and grimy look that it has throughout, it’s got such an effective and creepy atmosphere, and the production designs and locations are great for the film. The biggest problem with the direction is that there are some pretty cheap and basic jumpscares, and I’m willing to bet that a large amount of the forced scares were because of the Weinsteins. The bug creatures are pretty effective and threatening, mainly with their designs and how they act. With this movie being over 2 decades old, some of the effects don’t really hold up so well, but for a movie from the late 90s, it is serviceable for its time.
Mimic is an entertaining creature feature, that’s not particularly original or great, and it had its issues, but it was actually pretty decent, and was particularly elevated by the direction by Guillermo Del Toro. This is by far Del Toro’s worst movie, but that says quite a lot for the quality of his filmography, given that I thought that the director’s cut was pretty good. It’s definitely worth checking out.