The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones
Starring Lilly Collins, Jamie Campbell Bower, and Robert Sheehan
Directed by Harold Zwart
Written by Jessica Postigo, and based on the novel by Cassandra Clare
The IMBD Synopsis:
When her mother disappears, Clary Fray learns that she descends from a line of warriors who protect our world from demons. She joins forces with others like her and heads into a dangerous alternate New York called Downworld.
Having not really cared for the book, I wasn't particularly eager to watch the film. Yet, my curiosity was nagging me and I get free movies so why the heck not?
I'll say the film met my expectations. It was okay - entertaining for the two hours or so it is, but not entirely memorable.
The script was quite similar to the book. Not exact, they never are. But City of Bones followed closely to the book. I've read some raving reviews about how the film got the novel all wrong, but one thing viewers must remember is that film and literature are two very different mediums. I may have mentioned this in my last review, but I think it's worth noting multiple times. Adaptations can be accurate with out being perfect. I appreciated the similarities this book shared with the book. People want to see what they read about, not watch a story they loved get slaughtered with misinterpretation. So through all of that I'm basically saying that I liked the translation of narratives, book to film.
It's an interesting story, but contains too many plot holes. The book does this too. I believe the reason for this is that the novel tries to introduce too many ideas into one storyline. It makes for a fast-paced plot, but frankly I got a bit weary of coincidence as a device to move the plot along.
I found the actors to be very suitable aesthetically - that is, they looked the part (despite some controversy over Jamie Campbell Bower as Jace, I believe he suited the part). Some of the acting was disappointing. Lilly Collins acting has yet to impress me - I find her character's so... stiff, I guess, for lack of a better word. Jamie Campell Bower did well in action scenes, but his and miss Collins chemistry was confused and unbelievable. On the other hand, Robert Sheehan was brilliant. I found his acting superb. He was the perfect Simon.
Now let's talk about the demons, the villains the action! The CGI was great. The demons were creative and actually pretty scary. They were actually represented much better in the film than in the novel. Valentine was a disappointment though. I had higher expectations for Jonathan Rhys Myers as far as his acting goes, but I don't think he was a good interpretation of Valentine. I don't think it was all his fault though, I think Valentine was just poorly scripted and designed. His costume was entirely different than what I expected. The film made him out to be wild, reckless, and even a bit immature. Whereas the book's Valentine was much more menacing and mysterious. He was a mastermind with dangerous ideas - not so in the movie, unfortunately.
I'm going to give this film a three out of five stars. If you read the book, you'll find some elements of the film to be quite different, but not completely altering of the main plot. If you didn't read the book, the film is entertaining either way. This was a one time see for me. I don't regret watching it by any means, but it's not one I'll be buying to watch again. I'd say go watch it if you have a free afternoon ... and its raining.
You can read my review of The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones by Cassandra Clare here.