• James Harvey

Film Review: Mimic: The Director's Cut 1997

Mimic – Director’s Cut

Format: BluRay Language: English Released: 1997

Director: Guillermo del Toro

Starring: Mira Sorvino, Jeremy Northam, Josh Brolin, F. Murray Abraham, Charles S. Dutton

Mimic roars onto our screens with one of the US’s iconic cities in the grip of an epidemic. The children of New York are dying and there is no cure; within months the mystery plague will spread across the US and from there, across the world, spelling the end of the Human race. Using a series of news reports and insects’ imagery as well as some clever voice overs, del Toro, gets us up to speed with the what, why, who and where before the opening titles even finish.

Then with the same amount of haste we are introduced to the Heroine, Dr Susan Tyler (Mira Sorvino) and her trusty sidekick, Dr Peter Mann (Jeremy Northam), who not only promptly cure the epidemic, by releasing genetically modified cockroaches which they name the Judas Bugs, they get married and live happily ever after; or so we are lead to believe.

Fast-forward three years and the Judas Bug has grown up and is not only mimicking Humans but feasting on us. This is where the film seems to develop a split-personality. On one hand you have the stunningly visual storytelling that uses all the tools of a filmmaker art. Stark images, religious iconology, sound, music, lighting, set design, human nature etc. are used to portray a struggle to understand and stop what is happening as well as focus on our actions as a race not being as superior to nature as we sometimes believe we are.

On the other hand, you have some disruptive personality that seems to try and undo the storytelling of the above mentioned by adding pointless action scenes and gun play which does nothing to enhance the film. To add further insult to injury they’ve added some rather dire and patronising dialog to explain every little detail instead of allowing us, the audience, to use our imagination.

This is not to say Mimic: Director’s Cut is a bad film, as it isn’t. It’s still a good story that is underpinned in part by a standout performance from Charles S. Dutton as Leonard, one of NYPD’s finest. It’s just that it could have been so much better if Guillermo del Toro, was able to make the film he wanted.

I highly recommend watching the included featurette ‘Reclaiming Mimic’ and hearing what del Toro, wanted to do for the film as it will give you a deeper understanding and appreciation for Mimic. A prime example is the ending (I shall not ruin the end, don’t worry), it's your standard Hollywood ending, which in its self is not a bad thing, yet, if del Toro was allowed, it would have been a spine-chilling, through-provoking finale that would have had people talking about the film for a good while after its release.

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