Mimic 2: Hard Shell (2001) Movie Review

You would think that if it took them 4 years to make a sequel to 1997’s “Mimic”, then the final product would at least be somewhat decent. I mean, what happened between the four years since Guillermo Del Toro’s original? Didn’t anyone think of a better way to continue the franchise then this sequel? Or did someone just hire a writer and slap together a movie in a failed attempt to make some quick bucks? (The movie was released straight to video and has disappeared into the abyss reserved for ill-conceived sequels.)

Running at a meager 75-plus minutes including opening and closing credits, “Mimic 2” brings back Alix Koromzay, who plays Remy, a background character in the original. Writer Joel Soisson (“Highlander: Endgame”) has faithfully adapted the Remy character and given her additional emotional problems to justify her rebirth as a leading lady. In-between teaching inner city kids at a public school about the finer points of life as a bug, Remy spends her nights mourning the continued misery that is her love life.

Although believed defeated at the end of the original, the Mimic creatures are in fact not completely dead. One of them, a lone Mimic soldier, has survived, and has somehow produced hundreds of tiny, cockroach-size offspring. (Don’t ask how, the movie never elaborates.) But the Mimic also has something else in mind: it wants to make Remy its new queen, and in an effort to win her affections, it’s started killing of her loser boyfriends and is slowly but surely moving closer and closer toward looking more and more human. At least you can’t say the guy/thing doesn’t try, right?

Excised completely from “Mimic 2” are the lead characters from the first. Mira Sorvino’s character is never mentioned, although the events of the original are talked about and the CDC now has a special hotline installed just to deal with Mimic issues. Also, the U.S. Government has men in black agents all over the city searching for the little buggers. In a surprise twist, the MIBs don’t want to harness the Mimics for a bio weapon (as MIBs in movies are want to do), they just want to kill the suckers!

Director Jean de Segonzac has made a concerted effort to maintain the same mood and atmosphere of the original, and as a result New York City is constantly flooded by rain and the film takes place almost entirely at night. “Mimic 2” is a great looking film, and de Segonzac shows a lot of flair for visual stimulation and manages to make the small budget work in his favor. There is only one Mimic this time around, and the creature isn’t fully seen until almost near the end. This, of course, saves money on special effects, since Straight-to-Video movies are not known for their big budgets.

As the lead, Alix Koromzay certainly doesn’t do a bad job at all. At the risk of sounding shallow, I must say that she doesn’t exactly have “leading lady looks”. Fortunately that doesn’t negate the fact that she sells her role with aplomb. Besides Remy’s habit of taking Polaroids of herself whenever a man has made her cry, Remy has a wealth of insect knowledge that seems useless, but comes in handy when the Mimic attacks. Jody Wood plays the necessary handsome Detective and Will Estes has a humorous role as one of Remy’s horny students. Young actor Gaven E. Lucas, on the other hand, looks wholly unnatural and just plain weird. I’m sorry to say, but the kid can’t act to save his life.

I wouldn’t go so far as to say that “Mimic 2” is a bad movie. While it certainly doesn’t live up to the original (and really, has a sequel ever done so, with the exception of “Godfather 2”?), the sequel does feature an excellent action sequence that involves Remy and two of her students fighting off the Mimic at a public school. But the film’s final 10 minutes is a mess, with giant plot holes simply ignored for a “shock ending” that wasn’t so shocking at all.

Clean up the final 10 minutes, add some more minutes to Remy’s students to flesh them out as important characters, and “Mimic 2” would have been a decent enough movie.

Jean de Segonzac (director) / Donald A. Wollheim (short story), Joel Soisson (screenplay)
CAST: Alix Koromzay …. Remy
Will Estes …. Nicky
Gaven E. Lucas …. Sal
Edward Albert …. Darksuit
Jon Polito …. Morrie

Buy Mimic 2: Hard Shell on DVD