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The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones (Review)

The Mortal Instruments - City of Bones***NO SPOILERS

I attended the premier of this movie, The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, on August 19th. I like this type of movie, so I was very excited to see it. I must state here that I have not read  “The Mortal Instruments” series by Cassandra Clare, but this movie title led me to believe this might be a sequel. However, this is an original movie with highly anticipated sequels to come.

Set in New York City, we are introduced to Clary Fray (Lily Collins), an average teen on the way to discovering a secret about her mother, her history, and herself.

Clary begins to notice a randomly recurring symbol that she doesn’t understand. While hanging out with her best friend, Simon (Robert Sheehan), Clary sees this symbol on a nightclub sign, and decides to investigate further. Inside the club, she witnesses a death that isn’t quite as it seems. To make matters worse, she appears to be the only one that notices something is wrong, but SHE doesn’t go unnoticed. So begins Clary’s journey of discovery to find her true calling… Shadowhunter. 

The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones (PG13) is a young adult urban fantasy, and is best suited for that audience; although, adults who are into this genre will enjoy it as well. I fit into the latter group, and did enjoy it, but I was also a little bored by the obvious similarities with every other recent movie out there. You know how it goes… Vampires become popular, so almost every new movie is about vampires. The same holds true here.

Yep, this story is about vampires, werewolves, demons, and those who hunt them. The Shadowhunters. There is action, grossness, humor, physical attraction, and even jealously. Unfortunately, each of those is rather spotty and haphazard, so it isn’t super fluid throughout the movie. But, for the most part, it still works.

Luckily, there is a pretty interesting back-story which did add a much-needed layer to this film, though it began pretty late in the game. Watching this develop should be interesting. I can’t tell you about that, though. 🙂

The movie setup leaves room for the sequel which will hopefully be a little more original, and also delve a little deeper. It was good, but not awesome. And, there was definitely some cheese.  However, it was also a movie that seems to say, “Okay, here’s a little of what’s going on. Here are the people involved, and some of what got them to this point. Now, you’ll know a little more when we release the awesome sequel.”

In my opinion, more could have been done here.  It seems we were given pieces of many different elements, much like a buffet.  A sampling.  Expanding on a few things would have been nice.  The runes, for example.  There was no explanation given about that, and it’s an important piece of the puzzle.  I understand they have to save some character and plot development for the sequels, but they also need to take care of the audience, and should have provided more explanation about the pieces they threw at us.  Not every viewer has read the books, and they should have taken that into consideration.

There were funny parts.  A few.  Some of the humor wasn’t too bad, but some of the effort was simply bleh.

Overall, I did enjoy this movie, and I look forward to the next one.  Perhaps this one will be better the second time around.

Release Date: August 21, 2013

CAST:  Lily Collins, Jamie Campbell Bower, Robert Sheehan, Kevin Zegers, Lena Headey, Kevin Durand, Aidan Turner, Jemima West, Godfrey Gao with CCH Pounder, with Jared Harris and Jonathan Rhys Meyers

Release Date: August 21, 2013

Worth seeing?  Yep.
See it again?  Likely.  With important changes, it could be the start of a good collection.
Recommend?  Yeah. Not too bad for the 1st in a series, and would be good for a night out.
Overall: Pretty good. Decent, but not bone-chilling wonderful.  Interesting, but lacking.
3.5 out of 5 Paperclips

This review can also be seen here.


4 responses

  1. Pingback: Mortal Instruments: City of Bones – Movie Review | His Master's Review

  2. Pingback: The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones (2013) | The Grand Shuckett

  3. You should read the books. I read them a few years ago when my husband was in the hospital. I originally bought the first one for him thinking it might help stave away the boredom of being in a hospital bed. Not too bright on my part. He doesn’t read. So I picked it up and started it myself. I loved it so much I quickly picked up the second book. I had to wait a little while for the third.

    It is a YA series, and yes, it bears some similarities to those that have gone before and have come since, but it works and there IS a lot of backstory that you learn throughout the series. I thoroughly enjoyed the books.

    Looking forward to the movie.


    August 22, 2013 at 7:36 pm

    • I have to agree with you! I thought the movie was good, but could have gone a little further. However, I understand they have to save some character and plot development for the sequels. The movie was enough to get me interested in the books, but honestly, I HATE seeing a movie before reading the books. LOL! If they work this right, these movies could be hot, and even bypass the pixies. (Ahem) I mean, Twilight. 😀


      August 22, 2013 at 8:08 pm


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