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Del Toro's disappointment
on 19 March 2012
I remember vividly going to see Mimic upon its release back on July 2nd 1998. It barely got into UK cinemas, and was dumped in the tiny Screen 5 at the old Odeon cinema in Edinburgh for all of one week before disappearing. They'd never do that to a Guillermo Del Toro film now that he's a popular director. But even back then his trademark imagery of insects, muck, and oppressive weather were thick throughout the movie.
A strange virus carried by cockroaches is killing-off New York's kids until Entomologist (insect scientist) Susan Tyler (the tall, gorgeous, big-boobed Academy Award-winning Miro Sorvino, who just...vanished) and her boyfriend Peter Mann (Clive Owen's twin brother Jeremy Northam) create a new breed of cockroach to kill them off. With the children safe they all breath a sigh of relief. Then three years pass, with something sinister brewing beneath the city streets. People start to go missing in the subways, strange new insects are emerging from the grimy darkness, and what appears to be a man in a long coat is always watching from the gloomy corners.
Del Toro's vision for the film was compromised by the interference of Harvey Weinstein, who foolishly contradicted his judgment (this being the same guy who greenlit Grindhouse!). The resulting movie was disowned by Del Toro, which is a shame since you can really see the potential behind it. The planned ending for hundreds of Mimics standing around in Time Square station would have been amazing, and a natural follow-on to the plot that precedes it.
Instead the ending is rather lame, and the threat of the Mimics migrating through the tunnels and possibly taking over the world is ignored as soon as it's mentioned. A huge missed opportunity there. What a bleak, apocalyptic ending that would have been.
The so-called Director's Cut (the best parts of the script were never actually filmed) restores some minor plot points and gives us alternate dialogue. The biggest addition is the fact that Miro Sorvino's character is pregnant, but it adds NOTHING to the story, and feels rudely tacked-on.
A great example of a movie that good have been if only the producers had a clue what they were doing. For what it is...there are some decent moments to be had.
The Blu Ray presents the film in wonderfully icky 1.85:1 1080p with DTS HD-MA sound and a fair assortment of good extras.