Directed by Harald Zwart
Screenplay by Jessica Postigo Paquette
Based on City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
Starring: Lily Collins, Jamie Campbell Bower, Robert Sheehan, Kevin Zegers, Lena Headey, Kevin Durand, Aidan Turner, Jemima West, Godfrey Gao, C. C. H. Pounder, Jared Harris & Jonathan Rhys Meyers
The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones is based on the New York Times Bestseller City of Bones by Cassandra Clare. The story follows young Clary Fray who thinks her life is completely normal, until she witnesses what looks like a murder at a club, the night of her birthday. This leads to a series of events where she finds out that she is more than ordinary and instead part of something bigger than herself, something that means the fate of all humanity.
This movie hasn’t received the best reviews from critics, but that is because they don’t do their homework! They don’t have to like the movie, hell, they don’t even have to like the book, but if you are going to criticize the story, which many reviews have been doing, then you’re criticizing the book, not the movie. This film is an adaptation, one that many fans are pleased with. Viewers have been giving this movie a grade in the B to A range.
Now, my biggest complaint with this movie is that some scenes were longer than they should have been, but considering the length of the book, that can be excused. However, I do believe they could have been done differently to shorten the length of the movie at least 5 to 10 minutes. A lot of the dialogue could have been shortened to get to the point faster even if the fight sequences could not.
Nothing was sacrificed in the movie for something else. Jamie Campbell Bower captured the character of Jace perfectly, right down to his charming egotism. That goes the same for all the actors who captured their respective characters perfectly. Clary wasn’t adapted as perfectly however. No offense to Lily Collins, but there was something lacking in her portrayal of the character, but it had more to do with the way she was adapted to the screen versus the way she acted. For what she was given, she did a great job.
Something else that has been said about this movie is that is it a knockoff. Again, it is an adaptation of a novel! Seriously, critics need to do their homework. In this day in age, nothing is unique, but what matters is way the writer has gone about taking this story. The heroes in this story are not witches but rather heroes with the blood of angels. That is unique and that is what has drawn in the audiences to see this movie. Obviously for a younger generation of viewers and fans of the novel, the movie has at it’s core the essential paranormal love triangle, but it’s presented with a twist. And on the screen, it was represented very well.
Then there were the masses of vampires and werewolves. No, vampires and werewolves are not a unique concept, but they are an essential part of the story, as is the warlock Magnus. This movie does not just throw it all at the viewers creating a blind mess of madness, but rather shows the viewers who exactly are the Downworlders and why they are a danger. Along with subtle instances in the movie, the movie does not sacrifice the important parts of the story for action, instead, it presents them in subtle ways to build on in the future.
It’s true that the adaptation pales in comparison to The Hunger Games, Harry Potter & Twilight, but it was still a movie that captured the audiences with wit, action and the love story for the romantic in all of us while giving us something new to see in the paranormal genre. ★★★ (B+)