Movie Review: Mimic (1997)

Synopsis: After a new disease proves fatal for hundreds of children, entomologist Dr. Susan Tyler creates a new bug species designed to wipe out the cockroaches that are spreading the disease. The new species was supposed to have died out after one generation. However, three years later, she discovers the bug is still alive, has evolved, has grown and can now mimic humans.

Who's in it? The movie stars Mira Sorvino, Jeremy Northam, Alexander Goodwin, Josh Brolin, Charles S. Dutton and Norman Reedus.

Review: I came across this film (and the sequels) on one of our movie channels and, since it had been a while since I last watched it, I decided to record it. My wife and I ended up finishing it last night and I have to say the film is better than I remember.

Bug-themed horror films are always a bit hit or miss. They can either be very creepy and make you feel like you have something crawling up your back. Or, the filmmakers can go a bit overboard, make the mistake of making the bugs enormous and ultimately ruin the film because everything looks so fake. This movie, in comparison, makes the bugs enormous but does it in a way that still makes this thriller entertaining to watch.

I think there are two things that really sell this movie. The first is the overall premise isn't too far-fetched. OK, sure, the idea of bugs growing to be as large as humans and even dress like them is a little hard to believe. But, a scientist genetically engineering a super bug in an effort to stop a disease is just realistic enough to keep the bugs' origin story believable.

I also found I liked the setting of this movie. Giant bugs aren't overly scary out in the open. But, in a dark, cramped sewer/subway line, they do become quite a bit more menacing, largely because the setting brings a claustrophobic feel to the movie. Sometimes, that's all a film needs.

While I had a hard time not imagining Sorvino's character from Romy & Michele's High School Reunion, I do think she did a decent enough job in the starring role. I probably would have had a hard time believing she was a scientist in a more serious/dramatic movie. But, because this was a thriller that put more emphasis on action than making the characters believable, I'm willing to give her a passing grade.

I was not, however, a big fan of the little boy, Chuy (Goodwin). The whole cute kid thing has been done to death and, in this case, he just seemed like an additional character that had no real purpose (other than occasionally communicating with the bugs using his spoons). He could have easily been left out of the movie and nobody would have missed him.

Final Opinion: The extra-large bugs are a bit much. But, the setting and relatively decent acting did make this movie a fun thriller. I would recommend it if you haven't seen it.

My Grade: B


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