Sometimes going back to the roots of a favorite director hurts!
Screenplay By: Guillermo del Toro & Matthew Robbins
Directed By: Guillermo del Toro
In a creature feature the most important ingredient is a group of characters, or even a lone wolf, that you can root for. I waited and waited for someone to care about in Mimic, but no one ever came. Instead I was treated to a bunch of cardboard cutouts that failed to elicit any emotion from me. Part of the blame for that resides with the flat acting but the majority falls at the feet of Guillermo del Toro. His script and his direction needed to be tighter, to work with these characters, to make them a group we cared about and wanted to see win. When Mimic was over I didn’t say, “Yea, they survived, that’s great.” My thoughts were more along the lines of, “Well, that’s over and they survived, hmph.”
It’s a minor comfort but it is interesting to see del Toro’s make-up effects in a more primitive state. They still look good, except for the CG chase scene at the subway upper level near the middle of the film that looks very fake. The refinement would come, and while they may be of a lesser quality you can see in the make-up effects of Mimic that del Toro is steps away from bringing his penchant for that field to a near level of perfection. Another positive on Mimic’s side is the atmosphere del Toro is able to create with his use of shadows and specifically the use of the labyrinthine subway system.
Despite Mimic showing some of the potential that del Toro possessed, it is a film that leaves you yearning for the better days to come. There are better creature features out there and far better del Toro films out there. Mimic is too ordinary and predictable of a film, one that is bereft of anything resembling even a B movie story. Maybe del Toro fanatics will find Mimic a worthwhile view, but I suggest you stay away from this new chain in the evolutionary process.