Review by James Lindorf
We’ve all had encounters, no matter how brief that left you feeling like the person you just met maybe a bit off. It says nothing about the quality of that person and their IQ or EQ, but it can still be unsettling. One of these interactions is the imputes for writer and director Thomas F. Mazziotti’s “The Mimic.” Our main character, a writer, simply known as “the Narrator” (Thomas Sadoski), develops an unhealthy relationship with a new neighbor he has dubbed “the kid” (Jake Robinson). Initially, the narrator is only bewildered by the kid’s abrupt invasion in his life. However, once he suspects that the kid may be a sociopath, he decides to study him for his next screenplay. As the investigation continues and the kid tries to be more like the narrator, the pair are thrown into a series of ridiculous events. “The Mimic” is currently available on VOD while enjoying a limited theatrical run.
Mazziotti insists that the story is based on actual events. Yet, it is hard to believe that someone would continue to put them in these situations when there is nothing to be gained. Whether Ripley believes it or not, it would be easier to tap into your suspension of disbelief if either character was remotely likable. The narrator is an a**hole point-blank. He is smug and believes he is always right. He is rude; at one point, he tells the kid’s wife she could do better. Worst of all, he is sexist, referring to women who drink rosé as sluts. The kid isn’t any more of a charmer, but it’s forgivable given that sociopaths don’t know how to fit into society or empathize with others. Though their characters may be awful, the performances and the chemistry between the two leads are excellent. Robinson doesn’t get to go as big or as varied as Sadoski, but it is often more challenging to play stoic, emotionless characters without your voice or face giving you away.
This is the first time Mazziotti has taken on the role of screenwriter, and it shows. Some minor storylines aren’t fully connected. Many of the situations feel contrived, and the movie is never as funny as it thinks it is. A co-writer may have been able to reign him in instead of every idea and stray thought making it into the final edit. Mazziotti’s strengths may be limited to the director’s chair, where he did a good job. The film feels like one person was making the decisions giving the off-kilter world a feeling of consistency. The performances’ quality can also be partially attributed to the director for providing good motivation, directions, and feedback.
Several things are done well in “The Mimic,” and for people with the right sense of humor, I’m looking at you “Dinner for Schmucks fans,” it could be a hit. If you are not vibing with the tone in the first few minutes or if you detest voice over, this is not the movie for you.
Original Language: English
Director: Thomas F. Mazziotti
Writer: Thomas F. Mazziotti
Producer: Benjamin Cox
Release Date (Theaters): February 5th, 2021 Limited
Release Date (Streaming): February 5th, 2021
Runtime: 1h 21m
Production Co: Red Square Pictures
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