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MIMIC

SYNOPSIS:
The pestilent Strickland's Disease has targeted New York’s children, and they are dying in record numbers, antibiotics powerless to stop its relentless encroachment. From the emerging field of bio-engineering. Dr. Susan Tyler (Mira Sorvino) is one of its most promising champions. She joins forces with the head of the Centre for Disease Control, Dr. Peter Mann (Jeremy Northam), her husband, to fight the plague. Tyler's plan is to recombine the DNA from various species to create a counteragent to the disease. She calls her new creation - a cross between a mantis and a cockroach - the "Judas Breed." Miraculously, the cure takes hold and the disease is stopped. Since the breed has a life span of six months, there would appear to be no long-lasting side effects to this necessary invention. The warnings from her former professor (F. Murray Abraham) about the dangers of playing God seem to have been only the ravings of a scientific paranoiac. That was some time ago: today, Dr. Tyler is about to discover just how successful her creation has been. Mysterious and grisly deaths begin to manifest themselves around the city. Tyler and Mann soon discover that the Judas Breed has learned how to "mimic" its predator, in conjunction with the natural laws of evolution. The creatures have not only outwitted their built-in self-destruct sequence, but they have also adopted human characteristics, threatening the city. Tyler and Mann have to do something. In the process, they enlist the assistance of a sceptical subway officer (Charles S. Dutton) and a detective (Josh Brolin) who has been investigating these deaths. The search takes Tyler and Mann, and their four unwitting and unwilling accomplices, into the depths of the subway system.

"The arresting opening titles with quick flashes of shadowy images and wailing voices sets up an anticipation which is never fulfilled in Mimic, a sci-fi thriller, with giant cockroaches as the ultimate nemesis. While it boasts a fine cast on paper, the film is is unable to generate genuine fear, but delivers heaps of goo and gore with the messy insides of giant vermin. The cast is a massive disappointment. Mira Sorvino, delightfully convincing in previous roles, seems to walk through her part with but a handful of expressions of terror. She seems badly miscast; I wonder whether even the likes of a Sigourney Weaver would have saved the film. Jeremy Northam, an actor with great depth, is in nowhere land; Charles Dutton, as the subway officer is the only character who somehow rings true. But what a waste of good talent! Having said that, Mimic is not a badly made film, and does offer excellent effects, especially in the final scenes. I guess there’s no reason why we can’t have a film about giant cockroaches; the giant bugs are more fascinating than terrifying and unfortunately, Del Toro seems unable to build any real tension. The interesting element of eight year old angel-faced Chuy (Alexander Goodwin), an autistic child who lives in his own world and emulates the sound of everything he hears is one fresh concept, in an otherwise sadly heavy-handed film."
Louise Keller

"The first 20 minutes or so of this otherwise idiotic horror film shows genuine promise. A backbone story which is fascinating, a wonderfully creative attempt on the part of director Guillermo del Toro to convey atmosphere in the development of a routine genre. And there are some cinematic embellishments that work, in particular some superb cinematography and ingenious camerawork as the viewer is transported to the very underbelly of an immense metropolis. But the film then emerges as another moronic monster flick, a stupid, ineptly written piece dealing with over-sized cockroaches that look less menacing than they do asinine. The film's last quarter is juvenile Hollywood cinema, with much screaming, dollops of blood and meaningless dialogue, a talented cast wasted. Only Charles Dutton gives some grace to the proceedings; Sorvino may have won an Oscar but she gives no hint of that award-winning quality in this one-note, histrionic performance. The opening credits and some clever visuals aside, Mimic simply becomes too serious in tone and too Hollywood for its own good."
Paul Fischer

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MIMIC (M15+)
(US)

 

CAST: Mira Sorvino, Jeremy Northam, Alexander Goodwin, Giancarlo Giannini, Charles S. Dutton, Josh Brolin, Alix Koromzay, F. Murray Abraham

DIRECTOR: Guillermo del Toro

PRODUCER: Bob Weinstein, B.J. Rack, Ole Bornedal

SCRIPT: Matthew Robbins, Guillermo del Toro, Matthew Greenberg, John Sayles (screen story by Robbins, De Toro, based on short story by Donald A. Wolheim)

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Dan Laustsen

EDITOR: Patrick Lussier

MUSIC: Marco Beltrami

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Carol Spier

RUNNING TIME: 105 minutes

 

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: REP

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: November 27, 1997

 







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