"Imagine 'Rear Window' with giant humanoid insects in the Raymond Burr role."
Part of me liked this arid horror flick because it was moody and stylish...plus it's so much better than Part 2 that it's not even funny. All in all, though, this third entry into the Giant Cockroach series is a whole lot of creatively-lit blather and a fairly thrilling finale. I think the whole thing clocks in under 80 minutes.The original Mimic saw Mira Sorvino saving New York from a strain of humanoid cockroaches...and would you believe that concept represents the high point of credibility in this series? The first sequel (from the goofballs who eventually brought us Dracula 2000) is so awful that my DVD player refuses to spin the disc. It's really bad.
So now Dimension unleashes a third entry, a languid and generally unsatisfying chestnut arcanely entitled Sentinel. (If the word "sentinel" was used once during the film it must have been during Acts I or II, when I was desperatly trying to stave off sleep by pinching the outsides of my legs.) Connected to the earlier films by only the most tenuous of screenwriting conceits (and the giant bugs of course) Mimic: Sentinel seems like a horror film directed by a guy who clearly wants to move on to bigger (and more dramatic) things.
J.T. Petty's camera lingers and stares; his characters do the same. The plot this time out involves a "bubble boy" survivor of the plague introduced in the first flick. Marvin's bedroom is encased in a plastic sheath, his sister is a promiscuous little drug addict, his mother is a disaffected couch potato, and his neighborhood has recently become the home several giant carnivorous cockroaches.
Marvin, of course, learns this last piece of news LONG after the audience does and is therefore resigned to simply snapping dozens of photographs from his bedroom window. Yes, folks, we're clearly in "5th generation Rear Window" territory - only Petty seems content to simply introduce the device for no real reason. Hence two-thirds of the movie is presented in "Circular Lens Cam", while the audience fondly remembers back to when movies were presented in rectangular fashion.
John Kapelos (The Breakfast Club), Lance Henriksen (Aliens) and Amanda Plummer (The Fisher King) stop by for a quick paycheck while the lion's share of Sentinel's dramatics are left to Karl Geary (who does a pretty good job as the long-suffering wannabe hero) and the amazingly cute newcomer Alexis Dziena as Marv's sardonic little sis.
It may seem like I'm heading towards "CRAP across the board" territory here, but Mimic: Sentinel is not without its assets. Sure, the flick takes just about forever to get its motor running but once it does we're treated to a handful of enjoyably goopy bug bites. (I can appreciate Petty's attempts at "mood-setting" but there's only so much yap-yap-yap a Gorehound can take before his eyelids start drooping.)
Though the movie ends rather abruptly, the final act offers a few cool CGI beasties and moments of shrieky bloodletting. (Marvin's adventures inside a refrigerator make for some solid jolts.) Horror completists will most likely walk away relatively unenthused but this one's not an out-and-out disaster (as the previous entry so was).Mich like they're doing with the endless "Hellraiser" flicks, Dimension seems content to simply churn out the "Mimic" flicks until they prove unprofitable. Fans may find handfuls of stuff worth enjoying in this third entry, but it's tough to get excited about a Giant Bug Flick that's 90% chit-chat and 10% gory fun.