The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones Fails Expectations

Dylan Rupptrecht

It was like occupying a seat on Hershey Park’s the “Storm Runner”; I was propelled 70mph in two seconds from the start of this movie. The rush of excitement I exulted from the initial burst of energy, through which the beginning accelerated the audience, quite abruptly turned into the disillusion of cluttered scenes and unoriginality.

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The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, starts off with Clary Fray, Lily Collins, leaving her New York City apartment after being lectured from her protective mother, Lena Headey, about coming home at a reasonable time that night, which is the eve of Clary’s birthday. But with disobedience shared by many teenagers, Clary and her apparently life long, male friend, Simon, Robert Sheehan, decide to gain access to an obviously not-meant-for-teenagers-club, which after seeing a mysterious symbol naked to everyone else on the hanging sign above, she and Simon were admitted access.

From here, the movie flies, as Clary thinks she sees a murder take place in the club, but no one else believes her. The next day, Clary is back at a coffee shop, which apparently is the only place of recreation for her and Simon, and runs into Jace, Jamie Campbell Bower, one of the people involved in the murder she had witnessed the night before.

Meanwhile, back at Clary’s home, her mother is being brutally manhandled by two thugs going on about a cup, and we see that Clary’s mom is not entirely helpless to knock around both guys on her own. The point of concise, awesome, fantasy that sets this movie apart from others is when Clary runs back home after receiving a call from her mom telling her to do the exact opposite. She ends up battling a demotic dog that somewhat resembles the gooey flexibility of the zombie rabbits in Resident Evil.

Everything in the movie up to here, I felt, should be credited as being a great hook for the audience getting involved with the movie and getting people to think to themselves “Okay City of Bones, I’m interested.” But man, does this movie leave you hanging!”

It’s obvious that this movie is based off a book, since there is a multitude of characters being shoved down your throat. I’m not going to be the one that directly compares movie adaptations from books, being how they simply are not the same platform or medium. But I will say that perhaps some of the character development seen in the movie did not translate as well as it probably did in a book. This became an issue for me especially towards the climatic battle scene at the end, when the movie seemed to vomit subplots and twists at you while not actually answering what was going on.

It’s also hard to get behind the love triangle between Clary, Simon, and Jace, as it’s difficult not to compare it to that made in the Twilight Saga. But taking a singular perspective with the love triangle in City of Bones, it was difficult to get behind how cheesy it was.

Ultimately I left that movie with so many more open-ended questions than answers.

One could make the argument that the direction of the movie was purposely designed that way to establish the sequels to the other books, but I’m afraid that after only making half of its total production value the opening couple of weeks, that there just might not be enough to make another one. So if you’re thinking about going to the movies this weekend with a friend, don’t see this movie.