23 August 2013

The Mortal Instruments Movie Review

WARNING: SPOILERS.  Don't read if you don't want to know.

2nd WARNING: I'm a fan of the book.

For anyone who has read City of Bones there are certain expectations to be met for a successful film adaptation.  As I watched the movie, I was looking for key points throughout the story.  I didn’t care about certain things that really didn’t matter to the overall effect of the book translation, like the fact that Valentine had dark hair instead of white blonde.  What I was looking for was the heart of the story, the intricacies of the relationships that made a fantastic book. 

And I have to say, I wasn’t disappointed.  Although I have read some disparaging reviews, I don’t necessarily agree.  Eh.  Maybe I’m too much a fan of the book.

Now, translating a book into a film isn’t easy, especially when trying to keep the core of what the story is about.  Certain things do need to be sacrificed.  A book can take us on a journey for a long period of time and by the end we feel like we went on this rollercoaster along with the characters.  In a film, everything needs to be condensed, concise, and articulated with a time frame.  So that’s very hard to do with dealing with the elaborate world of The Mortal Instruments. 

Clary Fray is an ordinary girl, or so she thinks, until she starts writing an odd symbol everywhere.  Suddenly, she’s not so simple and the world isn’t quite what it seems.  She stumbles into the world of the Shadow Hunters, half angel and half human fighters who rid the world of demons.  In fact, Clary is one herself, only her mother hid her from this world.  And for good reason.  Her father, Valentine, is a sadistic good guy turned bad when he plans to kill everything but the Shadow Hunters.  He’s looking for The Mortal Cup, the cup that the angel Raziel poured his blood into to give to the band of humans wanting to fight demons.  With this Mortal Cup, Valentine can do pretty much anything.
The book is amazing and the movie was pretty good.  Sure, there was exposition, you just can’t get awa  And there wasn’t enough Magnus Bane, but I was surprised that the film balanced each character’s story. 
y from that when you have this epic background story.

I was also surprised (but glad) they didn’t gloss over certain subjects that could be taboo in a YA film.  Like Alec’s love for Jace and Mangus’s attraction to Alec.  I half expected the producers to gloss over those two situations but they didn’t.  Now, the only part I was slightly disappointed in, but I understand why they did it, was Hodge blatantly telling the audience about the big twist of Valentine’s kids.  As readers, we didn’t find out until book 3 but I know parents will be taking their kids to see this and so it was probably the big wig’s way of making sure there wasn’t a big to-do. 

Otherwise, I liked the liberties the writers and the director took with the ending of the book.  Visually, it was stunning.  I always like a good sword fight.  And while I was at first disappointed with who they chose to play Jace (I only had Twilight to base him off...see photo), in the end I was happy that he did some beefing up to play the
sarcastic but brave & witty Shadow Hunter.

I would recommend anyone to see this film.  While knowing the world of The Mortal Instruments would help endear the movie, it’s not necessary.  I really hope they plan on making the other two films City of Ashes & City of Glass because at the end of City of Glass there is a scene by a lake that would be AMAZING to see acted out.  But the producers were wise enough to end CoB in a way that may or may not be followed.  I guess time will tell. 

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