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Overall Rating

Awesome: 35.71%
Worth A Look: 0%
Average: 7.14%
Pretty Bad: 0%
Total Crap57.14%

1 review, 8 user ratings

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Mimic 2
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by Jack Sommersby

"The Second Time Around is Certainly Not the Charm"
1 stars

Incompetent and unimaginative on just about every level.

Mimic 2 is so palpably bad on just about every conceivable level that it should serve as the definite example for filmmakers across the globe of how not to make a horror film. It's not enough that it's a disgrace to its genre, but it gives a decidedly bad name to other direct-to-video fare that occasionally score bulls-eyes -- after sitting through it, you'll feel wary over ever giving anything like it a fair-minded chance again. These days, the majority of us don't ask a whole lot out of a horror film except that it effectively envelop us for at least half its usual ninety-minute running time or (at the very least) offer up four to six effective scares. Alas, Mimic 2 delivers absolutely nothing.

I was far from a fan of the original. It had a neat, tantalizing premise, but the development of that premise was stunted. The celebrated director of the well-received Cronos (overrated), Guillermo del Toro, endowed the film with a rich and distinctive visual texture that creeped you out, but he unwisely corroborated with veteran writer Matthew Robbins on the screenplay. Big mistake, this, for Robbins had co-scripted the little-seen 1985 thriller Warning Sign, which involved scientists at a secret government research lab in Utah being unwittingly exposed to an experimental virus that turned them into blood-crazed maniacs. A promising and frightening premise, to be sure, but the story structure turned out to be old-hat, with the good guys trying to stay alive in the sealed-off complex long enough to whip up a miracle cure before being overcome, resulting in a hokey mix of The Andromeda Strain and Night of the Living Dead (with the emphasis unwisely on the latter).

In Mimic, the story involved scientist Mira Sorvino attempting to wipe out a cockroach-spread plague that was killing off New York City's children by creating a species of Judas bug that mimicked the cockroaches and subsequently destroyed their nests. As was the case in Warning Sign, fooling with Mother Nature produced an unforeseeable snafu: in addition to cockroaches, the bugs evolved to mimic humans, as well. As a result, Sorvino and her fellow scientists had to face off against their own Dr. Frankenstein, with the action culminating inside an abandoned subway station, where a ho-hum battle of humans vs. nature ensued with predictable results.

Mimic 2 serves up actress Alix Koromzay as Remy, the scientist character she in fact played in the original. Relegated to teaching science at a public high school in the South Bronx, she's living an uneventful but quiet little existence until a string of brutal murders start hitting too close to home. The victims, in one way or another, are all connected to Remy, which doesn't take the detective-in-charge (played by Bruno Campos, doing a poor-man's Steven Bauer rendition) long to pick up on.

The way it plays out, a black marketer of endangered insects gets offed first, then a brazen thug whom Remy briefly dated, then the school's kind-hearted janitor (who only has a couple of weeks before retirement, wouldn't you know!) who stomps on a cockroach just before his untimely demise. Now, we're never kept in the dark as to what is actually doing the killing because the screenwriter, Joel Soisson (penner of the pointless Dracula 2000), and the director, Jean De Segonzac (a former cinematographer), telegraph all of their punches. We know that a human-size monstrosity is behind the mayhem, so, unfortunately, we're already about two to three steps (or twenty minutes of screen time) ahead of the heroine. The first-half involves her playing catch-up with us, deadening whatever sense of immediacy the story might have held.

You see, Remy's been teaching her class to be considerate and respectful in the treatment of bugs. The monster -- which is a part-human strain of the Judas project -- somehow knows this and has been offing anybody who it views as a threat to her and, um, bugs in general. (No, I didn't make this up -- then again, neither did the filmmakers.) Silly stuff, no? But it seems a halfway-workable idea at first, and we're somewhat willing to give Mimic 2 the benefit of the doubt for a bit to see where it's going. Sadly, it all leads to an all-too-familiar Movieland destination called The Land of Nowhere (or, more fittingly, The Wasteland of Creative Bankruptcy).

Where the original's second-half took place in a subway station, the sequel's is set in the high school during one very long night. Remy, the detective, and two precocious, wise-cracking students are left to fend for themselves after the monster has barricaded a hallway off with an assortment of chairs and desks stacked from floor to ceiling. (How they never heard a single clanking of metal from right outside Remy's office door is anybody's guess.) It all boils down to a survival of the fittest, of course, with nobody apparently smart enough to open the windows and scream bloody murder in light of their less-than-hospitable, unrelenting opponent. Oh, and did I relay the fact that a group of armed scientists tied into the old Judas project are waiting just outside the school to make their move?

Mimic 2 is the opposite of sophisticated filmmaking. It's not enough that director De Segonzac provides us with killjoy glimpses of the monster before it actually strikes, but during the home stretches, when the isolated setting of the school could have been used unnervingly as a claustrophobic chock-hold on the audience, he dissipates tension by giving the dull-as-rusty-nails heroes too much in the way of Talkin' Time. They basically reiterate what we already know -- whenever a threatening situation arises, they spend an unfathomable amount of time discussing matters instead of acting, as if the monster were waiting for a convenient cue to strike. In the similarly themed novel The Relic, the time the characters spent hiding from the monster inside the New York Metropolitan Museum was fitting in that the information being conveyed of its evil nature was hair-raising -- it was tactful insinuation with the blunt force of a two-by-four to the solar plexus. Here, though, all we learn from these measly conferences is that the monster is of the unpleasant and unagreeable sort.

Even if insinuation was ruled as out of the question by the filmmakers (who obviously preferred a more direct and unsubtle route to things) at least some taut, kinetic action set pieces could have been managed. After all, working with an even lower budget than Mimic 2, director Albert Pyun succeeded in concocting a seventy-six-minute thrill ride in the form of 1996's Adrenalin: Fear the Rush, which featured Christopher Lambert and Natasha Henstridge as futuristic cops facing off against a plague-infested madman inside a dungeon-like abandoned prison. But De Segonzac's execution and sense of continuity are just too damn faulty for this kind of task. How else to explain the abysmal pacing and empty juxtaposing of scenes that seem to slow down rather than accelerate the action?

When the monster is revealed to be lurking on the other side of a wall of the room the heroes are hiding in, sensing Remy whom it won't harm, a nifty scare opportunity seems to be within the director's grasp. Yet all we get from it are the others undressing Remy, thumbtacking her clothes onto the wall (with a wiseacre quip from a horny teen about her underwear-clad appearance), and then sneaking out of the room just so the monster can be heard coming at them from on top of the ceiling a mere few seconds later. And for some unheardof reason, with their lives most definitely at stake, instead of just going all-out with all their might to tumble down that far-from-impenetrable barricade, they treat it like a knight might have viewed an upright drawbridge as a deterrent to storming a castle. Ludicrous.

There isn't any enjoyment to be had from Mimic 2 whatsoever. Not one moment of entertainment. Alix Koromzay registers zero as the heroine; there's not a single scare to be found; the dialogue is pure kitty litter; the special effects are decent but underutilized; and the film itself evokes endless memories of better (and even mediocre) films of its ilk. In the pitiful final confrontation, Remy squares off against the monster as it affectionately cuddles up to her, while she in turn readies herself to do this shape-shifting, seemingly unstoppable beast in with a pair of cutting shears(!). It's a howlingly bad scene, and not just because it's a blatant lift from Alien Resurrection, but because we just can't rightfully accept that this anemic, carrot-topped crusader could possibly save the day. When you find yourself doubting the heroine who holds the fate of mankind in her hands, and siding with the gruesome-as-hell monster instead, you know something's most definitely wrong. Mimic 2 is simply the pits.

Makes the overrated original seem like a classic by comparison.

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originally posted: 12/27/02 06:23:26
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User Comments

8/26/04 American Slasher Goddess A truely terrible sequel 1 stars
6/14/04 PR Oh comeon this is SHIT! SHIT! SHIT! SHIT 2nd worse movie ever 1 stars
6/08/04 tatum Not bad, not great 3 stars
3/31/04 re a great film 5 stars
11/27/03 he a good film 5 stars
8/14/03 Markus Best horror movie ever 5 stars
6/23/03 Hottie great 5 stars
5/18/03 dan not as good as the first, but still good 5 stars
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  17-Jul-2001 (R)



Directed by
  Jean de Segonzac

Written by
  Joel Soisson

  Alix Koromzay
  Bruno Campos
  Will Estes
  Gaven E. Lucas
  Edward Albert
  Jon Polito

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