One imagines writer/director Guillermo Del Toro droning on in front of a studio executive: "I'm going to make a movie about a big bug chasing people around a dark, claustrophobic space." Naturally, this studio executive, whose awareness of cinematic history extends as far back as "Air Bud," says, "What an original idea! Let's do it!" and the rest of us are left to sit through yet another "Alien" rip-off.
These large, flying cockroaches end up underneath New York City because Dr. Susan Tyler (Mira Sorvino) and her husband, Peter Mann (Jeremy Northam) genetically engineered a bug a few years earlier to stop a deadly children's epidemic. The film expects us to believe that evolution was then somehow vastly accelerated, producing a six-foot cockroach capable of mimicking a human being (kind of like Geraldo). This mimicking allows the big bug to stand around in the shadows looking like a guy in an overcoat.
Once our heroes become aware of the bug problem, Del Toro forces them people into dark, confined spaces so that drama can then ensue. Of course, the characters eagerly jump right in, cheerily prospecting the depths of the subterranean city without so much as a can of Raid. After all, it's a nice break from the monotony of the lab. Unfortunately, only two words are needed to completely destroy the entire premise upon which the suspense of this film rides: better flashlights.
Death by cockroach would have been sweet release compared to what the audience was forced to go through. I ground my teeth down to the nerves listening to the arrhythmic banging of the autistic, spoon-playing kid, whose ability to make the bugs think he's one of them may be grounded in the fact that he's equally annoying. Alas, someone forgot to point out that he smells like all the other humans and would have been eaten immediately if the movie had bothered to follow its own logic. If only there were a stench for stupidity, "Mimic's" reek could keep moviegoers away in droves.
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