The Romance Bookie has been telling me for quite some time now that I should read the novels. Alas, I never have, but perhaps that's a good thing, because I went into the screening of City of Bones, the first in the series, not knowing much about it beyond the basic plotline. Although some of the dialogue in the movie wasn't quite as polished as it could have been, the action scenes were fantastic, and I ended up enjoying it overall.
Clary (Lily Collins) lives with her mom in a Brooklyn walk-up, and is about to celebrate her 18th birthday. Her best friend, Simon (Robert Sheehan), has been in love with her forever, but she considers him more of a friend. Clary's mom always tells her to get home early, but one day when she and Simon are out at a cafe, her mom calls her and tells her NOT to come home - and Clary can hear signs of a struggle through the phone line. At the same time, Clary has started to see a mysterious symbol, as well as a boy named Jace (Jamie Campbell Bower), who is a Shadowhunter: his job is to kill demons that we come across in the "mortal world." Clary's mom has Shadowhunter gifts as well, and Clary must tap into her own gifts in order to find her mother, who has been kidnapped.
I really disliked Lily Collins in the beginning of this movie - perhaps this is how the script was written, but she was shrill and rather annoying. As the movie progresses, however, and she grows into her Shadowhunter abilities, I found her to be less so; not sure why that is, but I'm very glad that it occurred. Jonathan Rhys Meyers shows up later in the film as Valentine, the villain of the movie, and he turns in a fine performance, even though he oddly reminds me of Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean, minus the long hair. Jamie Campbell Bower is great as Jace, for whom Clary later develops feelings, and the rest of the characters gave good performances as well.
Yes, see this film, mostly because the action scenes are so great. I got sucked into the City of Bones plotline very easily - it's a mix of Harry Potter (magic) meets Lord of the Rings (there's a golden cup that everyone wants) meets Twilight (vampires and werewolves are included in a few scenes). A few of the demons were pretty scary, as well - it's rated PG-13 but if you have younger teens who are scared easily by movies, this would not one for them to see. I am guessing I will have to read the series now, as I'm interested in finding out what happens next to these characters; a lot of plotlines in the movie were not wrapped up, but that's because City of Ashes, the second novel, is coming to the screen in 2014. I'd recommend City of Bones for anyone who likes a good supernatural movie with fighting thrown in - just be aware that some of the lines and dialogue, particularly coming out of Collins' mouth, might make you cringe, as it's very predictable in some scenes.
The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones is in theaters today, August 21st, and is rated PG-13 with a runtime of 130 minutes. 3.5 stars out of 5.