The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones

Teen Angst Squad.
"There is a world hidden within our own."

Hello all, and welcome back to The Tagline! Today I will at long last deliver on broken promises, and talk about The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, seeing as it now looks inevitable that we will be seeing more of this series (at least one more movie is already in the pipe). Starring Lily Collins as Clary Fray, normal girl living in the city, City of Bones follows her as she discovers that she is intensely and gruesomely not ordinary. This movie, like any movie that is not about comic book characters or that has a female protagonist, is based on a series of young adult novels, set in a world where unknown to regular people, a race of half-angels (Nephilim if you want to be sassy about it) are charged with fighting against demons and other varieties of nightmare creatures, all while the rest of the world's assholes are oblivious to the fact that Dracula is trying to summon the devil or something, with help from Moriarty. Don't worry though, some rail thin teenage girls and teen heartthrobs are more than ready to eff those demons in the A, by which I mean mostly be moody at each other. This cast of likable jack-holes includes Jace (who you DON'T remember as Caius from the Twilight movies, but see him here in Anonymous as the young Oxford) who is Clary's sexy love interest who might be her brother, which makes some of the stuff that happens in the movie Luke & Leia levels of awkward, Alec who is a douchebag with few if any redeeming qualities we see, and his sister Isabelle, who has this whole leather vixen thing going on that was kind of awkward but I guess it was probably the way she was described in the books, given how frequently it comes up in the movie. Also I'd be remiss if I forgot to mention Clary's boy in waiting who will always be waiting, Simon, who just doesn't stand a chance against the brooding possibly sibling Jace. Like how much does that hurt, she thinks the guy is her brother and you still can't compete. Ouch Simon.

Stake gun is better than a steak gun.
Anyway, one day Clary's normal world of being a hipster is thrown UPSIDE DOWN after she starts seeing a strange symbol, and her powers start rising to the surface. She discovers that her mother (who is Lena Headey, just can't seem to get away huh?) was also a Shadow Hunter (which is the super edgy thing they're called) and that she had been suppressing Clary's memories and powers so that she would be safe from the SUPER DANGEROUS MEMORY SHE HAD of SOME MCGUFFIN THAT SHE SAW HER MOM HIDE. This particular item is the Mortal Cup, which can be used to make new Shadow Hunters, and without which the existing hunters are getting their asses handed to them, because they are dwindling in number. The cup was hidden by Clary's mom because of a guy named Valentine (portrayed by Dracula/Henry VIII star Jonathan Rhys Meyers) who wants to use the cup for more of his fucked up human demon experiments, because he loves power so goddamned much or something, you know the normal villain shit. Clary is principally motivated by a desire to find her mother, who is missing after Clary returns to her home, which has been ransacked by Valentine's large and dumb looking henchmen (who left a demon dog ala Resident Evil behind to play with Clary, who responds by blowing up her house). The Shadow Hunters are motivated by their search for the cup. Simon is motivated by his search for trying to score with Clary and failing forever.

Look at all that leather.
If all of this sounds kind of paint by the numbers, well good on you, you've been paying attention. 1) Female main character who is an action hero, fights for her family: check. 2) Love triangle involving  maybe a childhood friend and a new, anguished and mysterious guy: check. 3) Story that involves discovering how special/magical you are and then being awesome at everything: check. The signs are there, but while this is no hunger games, I would still rank this movie better than the piss poor Divergent. For starters, I think Lily Collins is just a much stronger lead, and her character is written better to begin with. Also the plot doesn't center around high school style hazing into a new super secret club your parents aren't invited to. I just didn't buy Shailene Woodley as any kind of ass kicker, and City of Bones' plot is just a lot more fully realized. Even at the end of Divergent, you only have a vague perspective of most everything that has happened, and feel like you were sort of on the sidelines while it was all going on. That being said, City of Bones is still a YA book adaptation about a girl and her totally rad adventures, and there are vampires and sexy tormented angel guys. As a person who has written shit that barely escapes that category I can't judge too harsh, but still it all gets a bit samey after a while. If the book could have resisted the urge to pair off literally every character that crossed onto the screen, I would have thought a lot more highly of it.

And now we're in THE CLUB OH YEAH.
I think honestly my favorite part of this movie is that Aidan Turner is a werewolf in it, and kills a bunch of vampires. This is funny because Aidan Turner plays the vampire in the British Being Human and lives with a werewolf in that show. Aidan Turner has also crossed the silver screen several times recently, as the Dwarf Kili in the Hobbit movies, so I guess he has that going for him at least (he's a secondary character in this movie, I don't know how much play he gets in the other books). Once I really sat down to watch this movie it wasn't terrible, but it still doesn't manage to set itself apart from so many other similar stories, so good try I guess and we'll see how I feel after City of Ashes comes out. Final Rating B-, at least it wasn't Divergent.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Project Wonderful Ad