The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones movie review, part two:
If you missed the first review, it is located right here – The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones movie review part one
Last time I left you with my review of the first movie before I had read the book! Now, I mentioned that I saw the movie three times, read the book, and then saw it a fourth time. So I am very excited to present two different points of review – from the perspective of a movie fan and a book fan.
This time I will feature, of course, the side of me that has become a book fan!
Of course, I have read more than just the first book by now. I was sucked into reading the second and third, and am trying to hold off on reading the fourth until I can afford to buy the fifth! I own the first four books in paperback, but obviously the fifth is only in hardcover, so I figure I better buy the hardcover set and save about 14-15 dollars instead of buying them all in hardcover separately! It makes little sense to not do that! So that is my reasoning for only reading up until the third book… And, as hard as I’ve tried, so far I have been unable to stay away from the fourth. I’ve been reading about a chapter a night to keep myself sane! As of right now I believe I am on chapter 9. So much for holding back, right?
Anyway, I figured explaining why I was a big fan of the books would help make my review of the movie after reading the books much more credible, because I have a lot more insight into the relationships, the journey, and the emotions of the series.
Without further delay, I will stop rambling and just post the review.
My thoughts on the movie after reading the book:
I’ll admit, after reading the book, I knew going into the movie for the 4th time that there would be things I’d understand more, and some I’d understand less. Some movie script writers really screw up the book to movie process, as we all learned from Twilight. (No offense, actually, I love the Twilight series.) I already focused a lot of the positive movie aspects in my review about watching the movie before reading or knowing about the book, so I’ll mostly focus here on what I thought was right or wrong about City of Bones in comparison to the book.
I liked the added touch in the beginning of the movie, when Clary draws the Angelic Power rune over and over again. This, and explanation from Magnus that she needed more frequent treatment, actually made a lot more sense to me than in the book. In the book it was a fixed time, and Cassandra Clare didn’t really make it clear that Clary would obsessively draw the rune like it was pictured in the beginning of the movie. I thought it was a great touch. Bravo.
In summary, the scene at Pandemonium was pretty perfect for the movie – it captured just enough of what was found in the book. I didn’t even mind the scene afterwards with Jace, when he and Clary first talk. Though it was slightly different from the book, I could accept it. Jace was a little more open-minded in the movie, accepting that she was obviously a part of his world a lot sooner. It worked, to speed up the movie. I’d also like to just point out that “peace-loving killer” made me giggle a lot.
I actually really enjoyed that we got to see what happened to Jocelyn in the movie. Because it was a more omniscient point of view, it was a perfect dramatic addition. The viewers knew what was coming when Clary got to the house, but we still felt traumatized about it. Perfectly done.
In the books, Simon was more of a late addition to the team, only being let into the Institute later on. In the movie he was there right away, and it appears that Jace was the one who explained everything to him. It can’t really bother me too much because of the time restraint of the movie, so I will let it slide that Simon and Jace had to cooperate behind the scenes a little. I’m trying to be a little more laid back about these changes, I’d like to think, than other book fans.
Magnus’ party scene wasn’t a bad take on the book, but of course it would have been more interesting if what happened to Simon was more like it was in the book. Jace and Clary against a horde of vampires trying to save a rat - this part really truly does sum up some of Jace’s feelings for her and how he would be willing to do just about anything to make Clary happy. Awwwwe.
My first real problem with the movie came when the events that were to happen at Renwick’s actually happened at the Institute. They had to add a lot of things about how it happened – like how the werewolves couldn’t transform on Institute grounds, the demons couldn’t come in unless they were let in from the inside, there were only 2 portals in the city, etc. It also brought about how Valentine could summon demons sooner than I would have liked, as this is revealed much later in the book series. Anyway, the big kicker for the ending was, of course, in the book it was Forsaken that everyone was worried about rather than demons. I didn’t mind the special effects of the demons, though. I won’t count that against the movie! On another note, I also didn’t think Pangborn and Blackwell needed as much air time as they did toward the end. A simple scene where Luke fights them would have sufficed.
Okay, so discussion of Clary using the portal to go to Luke’s midway through the drama – it worked, I guess, to cut the time of the movie. It also added a lot of dramatic effect when she just left Valentine hanging there. She needed to get to the werewolves again anyway; it was just weird that the portal was at the Institute. But, I guess it worked.
What really threw me was when they had Hodge saying to Valentine that he should lie about Clary and Jace being related. This, I could have done without. I mean, the Jace-Clary relation would have been touched on in the second movie – it didn’t need to be look as if it were a lie. Now the fanbase of the movie is expecting them to not be related. The book readers had to deal with not actually knowing whether they were or not, all the way through the third book. We had to learn about Jonathon, about Valentine when he was married to Jocelyn. This needed to be in the second or third movie, not the first. And definitely not revealed as a “lie”… Now what are they going to do in the movies, when Hodge is there? Or will he just disappear? Because they never showed him leave, as he should have. This just makes no sense to me. It took away from the movie, I thought, because it really took away from what was to come after it with City of Ashes and City of Glass. I guess it makes sense what the hype is all about with the sequel script needing to be revised (to be discussed in another post).
One thing I would like to touch on is how I wish they spent a little more time with Jace and Valentine, showing how important that bond was to Jace, regardless of whom it was with. It is a very, very important part of the series, the struggle that Jace has between himself and Valentine. It didn’t feel as real when Valentine touched his forehead to Jace and suddenly he was just pointing and yelling “NO!” It was much more heartbreaking and tear-jerking when we heard Valentine explaining things to Jace at Renwick’s, duirng that whole fiasco.
I guess a lot of what I saw after reading the book and watching the movie was just really tedious things, such as different certain character development, inaccurate or out of order scenes, and the new material at the end. Very tedious problems with the movie, really, because they couldn’t have done much else to change a 2 hour movie, otherwise it would have been more like 3 hours. Though I wouldn’t have minded that so much. Other viewers, maybe. But they weren’t expecting much because they hadn’t read the books. Now that I have, I have some clear likes and dislikes about the movie changes.
Alas, this doesn’t change the fact that I still enjoy the movie very much. It was great seeing Jace and Clary’s relationship come to life – to see the characters interacting, the action depicted, the demon fighting, the steamy sexual tension. It was a very good movie, regardless of any changes made.
Now, how they set up the sequel to the movie is a whole different topic that I’d like to touch on some other time. I do also intend to review each of the books separately.
As of right now, I’ll leave you with my review of the movie after reading the books: 9/10.
I’d like to thank the actors, production crew, and of course Cassandra Clare for making this movie possible. I can’t wait to buy it on DVD!
Thanks for reading. If you’d like to share your opinion about the movie too, please vote in the polls!