(It is only now that I fully understand the merits of being an unprofessional critic. I don't have to start any reviews with coherent sentences.)
That ARGH was of frustration and adoration. Frustrated because this movie turned out to be so anti-climatic (is there such a word?), adoration because of the cutie that is Jeremy Northam. :) Warning: Drooling ahead. Another merit of being an unprofessional critic is that I can take up as much space drooling as I want. HA! That guy is just so. . . so. . . well, I think we all know he's cute (dare you disagree?)--especially in those glasses--he's charismatic. He has the genuine power of a movie star to attract all of your attention. And Mira Sorvino too. Too bad these two were pretty much wasted in this movie--running around, screaming, being dirty, rubbing bug goo over themselves, etc. etc. This movie doesn't even begin to be exciting and live up to its trailer until its better half is over. Not to mention more scientific implausibilities (at least in my opinion--experts at the field may disagree) just to forward the plot and get down to the action, which really isn't much. One thing's for sure--I will not go live in New York City! God, I didn't know a movie could make a city look so bad! Check out those gutters, the rain, the subway (well we all know about the subways), and the roaches! >:p
Okay, before you go run screaming from the movie, please understand that it does get pretty exciting at the end--if you can last through the beginning though. I swear some people walked out. But Jeremy Northam kept me there. :) Plus I wanted to find out who that mysterious man in the coat was. Turns out he wasn't really a man at all--I guess you could count that as suspense? Man, but I expected much more!
Time to dole out the merits of this movie--if you're a die hard horror fan, or if you really like bugs, I guess you'll find this movie satisfying. The opening scene is another one to add to my Collection of Great Openings ("Seven," "Men In Black," "Island of Dr. Moreau," etc. etc.) -- the music does not live up to the images though, although it does get better as the movie progresses. As a thriller the movie has its fair share of suspenseful moments, but some are too predictable--um, gee, why is it that the main characters never die, huh? Some times they make it too obvious--for example who gets to be injured, who gets to go outside the train, etc. just to make sure who survives in the end. Yeah, yeah, I know fully well that most audiences out there (including me) would not like a movie that lets its hero/heroine die--somehow I wish they could find a way to orchestrate the suspense around this obstruction. And are the effects people good or what? Whoever made that goo is great!! And these actors really had it rough in this movie!! The supporting actors--Gianncarlo Giannini (sp? From "A Walk in the Clouds") and the black cop (sorry, dunno his name) were both pretty impressive, though the little kid proved to be both freaky and annoying, at least to me. Mira Sorvino's character is a standout as one of the most developed--a "bug lady" with a soft spot in her heart for kids, which makes the ending scene all the more heartbreaking. Also I would like to mention I did not particularly like the director's style, but for lack of education on the matter I do not know exactly why (some people can explain every detail from shot to shot, but I can't)--I understand it takes a special edge to be a good action director (my favorite being Jan De Bont of "Speed" and "Twister"). I think I would have felt better about the movie if it was just action from start to stop, that way I wouldn't care too much about plot (Who would expect a plot from movies like "Independence Day"? We watch them for the thrill.), but with the premise of a "suspense thriller," and much DNA mentioning in the trailor, I have come to expect more.
All in all, if you don't care too much about plot and believability, and you have a lot of popcorn to keep you busy, and especially if you appreciate Mira Sorvino and Jeremy Northam, you'll find this movie satisfying but not extraordinary.
Rating: B- (First viewing, 8/22/97)
*So the little guy doesn't need to go to school eh?? Well, FYI, schools teach you not to go running off to weird places and click spoons in the face of danger.
*I dunno, but I was under the impression that standard law enforcement weapons don't have that many bullets inside...