Loved it! Two thumbs up! High five! Gold star! Home run!
Okay, I wanted to make my opinion clear right off the bat, because I’ve been seeing a lot of negative reviews for The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, and I’m annoyed and frustrated by them. From a moviegoers standpoint, I thought City of Bones was entertaining, well paced and filled with plenty of eye candy (and I’m not just talking about Jamie Campbell Bower). And from a book nerd’s perspective, I felt the movie did a great job transporting Cassandra Clare’s Shadowhunter tale to the big screen. Even more impressively, it tempted me to go back and re-read the entire Mortal Instrument series.
Before I go any further, let me say two things: 1) I’m not a die-hard fan of The Mortal Instruments. I enjoyed the books, but they’re not my favorite YA series out there. I much prefer Cassandra Clare’s prequel series, The Infernal Devices. And 2) I had very, very low expectations for this movie. In fact, before the the lights went down and the opening credits began rolling, I leaned over to my sister and said, “Don’t hold your breath. I think this is going to suck.”
But it didn’t. And I was SHOCKED!
Overall, I thought the acting was superb, the plot nicely adapted and the casting near perfect. Lily Collins was beautiful, alluring and believable as Clary, and Jamie Campbell Bower was sexy, witty and, well, Jace (I’m not ashamed to admit that I totally have a goo-goo-gaga crush on him now). These two leads were wonderfully supported by Jemima West as Isabelle, Kevin Zegers as Alec, and Lena Headey as Jocelyn. And nobody could’ve played the role of Simon better than Robert Sheehan. He was funny, endearing and mundane-ishly heroic.
In my opinion, the only miscast was Godfrey Gao as Magnus Bane. Physically, he was great. Acting wise, he was stiff, dull and not at all flouncy, eccentric or magical like I imagined his character to be.
Luckily, he wasn’t in the film that much, so he didn’t ruin the whole thing for me.
As far as the actual adaption went, I thought it was well done. I know lovers of The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones are probably complaining about things that were changed, added or dropped. Personally, I was a little sad I didn’t get to see Jace’s demon flying motorcycle after the battle at Hotel Dumort. However, as a book fanatic, I’ve learned a hard lesson over the years: movies are not books. They don’t have the luxury of time to cover every single detail of a 485-page book. So as long as the adaptation captures the essence of the story, hits upon the major plot points and includes the main characters, I’m happy.
And City of Bones did all of those things.
Now, is The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones the best movie ever? Uh, no. Will it rack up a bunch of Oscars in the spring? Nooo. BUT was it fun, engaging and witty like the books? Hell yes! In fact, my sister (clueless to most YA book series like this one, and quickly bored by movies in general) was leaning forward in her seat the whole time and constantly whispering questions at me (my favorite being, “Oh God, is Simon a demon?” Ha!). And when we walked out of the theater, she admitted she had a ridiculous crush on Jace. I believe her exact words were, “Ohhh, yeahhh.”
I truly hope City of Bones does well enough at the box office so that its sequel, City of Ashes, will be brought to life for fans too. And I really hope people don’t listen to all the negative reviews out there. Because. They. Are. WRONG!
Look, just remember when you walk into the theater with your candy and popcorn, this movie isn’t going to be exactly like the book. They never are. So get over it, sit down and enjoy it! I mean, seriously, if you can stomach the cheesy Twilight films and the nasty adaption of Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief, then The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones is going to be like a slice of yummy, delicious, ooey gooey chocolate cake!
- Why fans should see ‘The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones’ opening week (examiner.com)
- The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones movie review! (fandomsnews.com)
- Film Review: The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones (glamadelaide.com.au)
- *Review* The Mortal Instruments (City of Bones) (juliedarley.com
- Jen’s Top 10 YA Series (jenspenden.wordpress.com)