The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones movie premiered this Wednesday and since I am a hardcore fan of the series, I donned black, called forth my fellow Shadowhunters, runed-up, and prepared to be taken into the world I fell in love with. Now let’s face it, we all know that the movie adaptation is never going to match up to the book. Going into a comparison is pointless. We all know they are different experiences that require different focus points. That being said, what can I say about this movie?
I liked it and yes, I want to watch it again. In fact, plans for a second viewing may already be in motion.
I am sorry to hear such negative reviews coming from critics. Many seem too quick to compare this movie to the Twilight films. I feel such a comparison is just not fair—fans of the books will certainly side with me on this point. This story is very different from Twilight. I will admit we do have some of the things we have come to expect from YA novels and their film adaptations, such as teen romance and best friends proclaiming their love. However, Cassandra Clare infuses her books with original characters, delightful sarcasm, and love pentagons that are unlike the love triangles you may be used to. We have two strong female leads at the center of the story (Clary and Isabelle), a bisexual warlock who is sure to steal your heart, and a sense of humor that gives life to the entire story. Fortunately, these great aspects of the book shine through in the film.
To the credit of those responsible for this film, it is obvious that they wanted to do their best to preserve the overall structure of the book. It is important to point out that in the books Cassandra Clare brilliantly interweaves action, exposition, back stories, side stories, character development, and romance. There is always a lot going on in her books and translating that into film was a difficult endeavor. Were there things that could have been better? Of course! They certainly could have given us more Magnus Bane, more back story on Luke, and more overall world building. They also could have given us a bit of smoother ending. However, I feel that overall this was a good movie. The solid acting, great action, and excellent set pieces make this movie worth watching.
In my opinion those who dismiss this movie as another Twilight-esque film are just not willing to take a close look. They are quick to judge the YA genre and fail to consider this movie on its own. I say you should go in with an open mind. I am a fan of the books and I went in excited, yet nervous. We book lovers know that when our favorite books are turned into movies there is a high probability that that we will not be happy with the result. I am happy to say that this one exceeded my expectations. I came out of the theater pretty satisfied with what I had seen.
Fans of the series will enjoy this movie. They will especially enjoy hearing direct lines from the book. I also think that those who haven’t read the books will like it as well; however, they might find some parts confusing. Overall, it is a fun viewing experience. It is certainly worth the watch. Robert Sheehan gives a stand-out performance as Simon, Jamie Campbell-Bower’s action scenes were fantastic, and I must mention that Magnus Bane’s entrance, which doesn’t involve pants, evoked a round of applause at the showing I attended. In conclusion, I am a huge fan of this series and I truly liked this movie—and in the name of full disclosure, I will be buying it once it comes out on DVD. It exceeded my expectations and I think it will exceed yours too. I look forward to seeing City of Ashes on the big screen.
P.S. Did I mention that everyone in this movie is very good looking? No? Oh, well that’s probably for the best. I won’t mention it then…