Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Movie Review: The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones

  The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones (2013, PG13)

Starring: Lily Collins, Jamie Campbell Bower, Kevin Zegers, Robert Sheehan,
 Lena Heady, Jared Harris, and Jonathan Rhys Meyers

For once in my life, I'm thrilled that I didn't read a book before seeing its movie counterpart! I've heard nothing but negativity about the Mortal Instruments series from various people, even my sister, who only made it halfway through the first book before giving up in disgust over its unnecessary length. I had great aspirations to see the movie in theaters, but, well, school intervened and before I knew it, it was on its way out and I had to wait for the DVD.

It's glorious when you have literally no expectations for a film and almost no knowledge about it apart from knowing the Shadow Hunters are part angel, so Nephilim. Because I had no expectations, I really enjoyed City of Bones. Oh, I know that it's nothing long-lasting, but sometimes I want pure entertainment and City of Bones delivered that. It helps that I love Lily Collins, and found her absolutely delightful as Clary, a character I probably wouldn't like otherwise. I also discovered, to my shock, that I don't mind Aidan Turner as Luke. It's only as Kili that I don't like him!

I've already picked who I want Clary to end up with, but I know she won't because the series is complete and, well, she has to end up with Jace (Jamie Campbell Bower) because he's the "tormented one." Simon (Robert Sheehan) would be my choice for her, hands down, because he's not nearly so tortured, but I also suspect that he might be a vampire now. I'll have to wait and see. I don't like Jace much at all, honestly. Too much angst, too much anger, plus he's got his little buddy Alec (Kevin Zegers) who likes him a little too much. It was also weird seeing Kevin Zegers in something outside of Titanic: Blood and Steel. And acting a little gay. Not effeminate, just . . . a little tortured in his fondness for Jace, and what's strange is that I actually like his character a great deal. Alec's one of the few characters with any sense regarding Clary. The best moments are, of course, with Jonathan Rhys Meyers being an absolute jackass as Valentine! He had plenty of practice in jackassness on The Tudors.

I didn't care for the nightclub scene at the beginning, or for Clary's deception towards her mom, or the somewhat tight clothes they stick Clary in for some scenes, but we don't linger there for very long, heading into the meat of the story pretty quickly. My sister was impressed that they'd condensed the half of the book she'd read into an hour's screen time. I have no clue whether it's faithful to the book or not, and frankly, I don't care because I never plan to read the books. From what I can tell in my quick foray into this world, it's very similar to every other fantasy/supernatural series for teens/tweens out there, especially Harry Potter. In a way, it is a ripoff, but it's still fun, still crammed with actors I like, and I'll still see the 2nd film.

SPOILER! SPOILER! SPOILER! SPOILER! SPOILER!

Yes, there's the plotline that Jace and Clary might be siblings. No, they're not related. I know this because that's one of the plot points that had Caitlin balking at finishing the series so she did her research and discovered that it's a lie perpetrated by Valentine, the little sneak!

6 comments:

  1. In my opinion the movie is better than the series. My sister disagrees. In the movie and the books Luke has been my favorite. I also kind of wish that Clary would ended up with Simon and not Jace. But like you I don't think that's going to happen.

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    1. I'm glad to hear that the film is better! From what people tell me, the books are really bloated with unnecessary stuff. That's the mistake a lot of authors make, and it's an unfortunate one.

      Yeah, I don't see Clary and Simon ending up together, even though they're the better, healthier match. But, we can still wish!

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  2. I... saw this when it first came out and honestly don't remember anything about it other than I was a little let down. I also didn't finish reading the book -- it was a snore. And yeah... Alec is very gay. :D

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    1. I'm not sure I would say Alec is very gay. If he acted effeminate, then definitely very gay, but he tries really hard to hide it. He's the tough guy who, I think, wishes he didn't feel this way. From what Caitlin said, the Nephilim frown on homosexuality? Gee, considering they're born from angel blood, that sort of makes sense, don't you think! I wish Alec wasn't attracted to Jace because I like Alec a lot. He's sort of badass, and it's a shame the author wrote him that way when he's obviously not going to win Jace. That's unfair to the character.

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    2. You're either gay or you're not -- and Alex is literally gay. ;)

      I had to go hunt up a review I wrote for this to remember my thoughts on this film. I thought the first 3/4ths were great and then the climax was a bit weak, because the villain wasn't well-established. I never really felt any reason to hate him, so I wasn't emotionally invested in his destruction. I was also a bit distracted by the obvious Harry Potter theft: the pale-haired Jace is Draco Malfoy, “Valentine” the villain is Voldemort, the enormous castle hidden right in the middle of Manhattan is the Shadowhunter version of Hogwarts, and “rune sticks” are in place of wands. But I remember enjoying most of it.

      I'm not sure if they'll film a sequel or not -- it was kind of a catastrophe at the box office, along with just about every other non Hunger Games YA novel adapted to the big screen in the last few years.

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    3. Caitlin gave me more details on what happens with Alec later in the series, and . . . I'm disappointed. I hate writers who condemn their characters to their sexual fate, like Cassandra Clare has done with Alec. If they do make a sequel, now I'm got reasons to not watch it. I really like the first movie, a lot, but if the author went there then what's the point in continuing?

      And yes, it is very like HP. She's got a little bit of everything in there, and not done nearly as well as the authors she's stealing from. Rowling's later books are far too bloated, but she's still an exquisite writer and came up with her own characters and ideas. Anything after her is obviously based on her work.

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