Last Wednesday, I went uptown to go and see The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones. As a person who has a ridiculous urge to see book–inspired films the day they’re released, there was absolutely no question of me getting my mum to drive me to the cinema straight from school. Whilst most of my friends would have been counting down the days, the hours, until we were back at school, I was counting down until TMI was released!
Having been watching the trailers practically religiously since they were first released, I was pretty excited for the film – but of course, sceptical. There’s always a rush of “I LOVE THAT BOOK SO MUCH, FINALLY IT’S A FILM!” when you hear a favourite book is coming to the big–screen, but it’s always instantly followed by “They’re going to muck this up. I swear, if they completely ruin this, or such–and–such is missed out… There will be blood”. You end up going to see the film feeling more uneasy than excited, because you just know the producers will do something so catastrophically wrong that you end up sitting there in the dark, with a look of absolute horror on your face. Yet, I found myself more excited than nervous about seeing City of Bones, although having seen a 5 minute preview of the kitchen fight scene before the film was released, I was already pretty angry about how they had got such a pretty major thing SO WRONG. But I made myself put that behind me – if I went into the film feeling mutinous about what they had done there, there was absolutely no way I would enjoy ANY of it.
When my friend and I got went into the appropriate screen, we were pretty surprised at the fact there were already people there – it was a small screen, granted, but this was a school day and many of the girls (it’s not a surprise it was predominately a female audience, though there was the odd male dotted about) were of school–age – but it just goes to show how dedicated (or daft, take your pick) some fans can be!
I was hoping the film would be an enjoyable experience, and as a stand–alone film it was brilliant, but as a film based on a book… It was good, very good in fact, but the screen got a quite a few angry, horrified and utterly shocked looks from me, which was a shame. My first annoyance with the film was how Clary and Simon discovered “Pandemonium” – it wasn’t a place they’d never been to before, in fact it was somewhere they frequented! Okay, I liked the Angelic rune on the sign, which is of course what attracted Clary to the club in the film… But that’s not how it was supposed to happen. Yet it was something I could deal with. I even managed to deal with how wrong they got the killing of the demon in the club, and Clary’s first glimpse of Jace and co.
But what I couldn’t handle was how the Ravenor demon was killed. What happened to Clary taking Jace’s Sensor?! In fact, what happened to the Sensors in general?! That scene, in my opinion, was pretty damn important in the build–up to Clary getting her first rune, and it also showed that she wasn’t a weak little girl who needed the super, amazing, demon–hunter Jace to save her. Don’t get me wrong, I love Jace, but that’s not how that scene should have been done. My second major issue with the film was when they went to the vampire’s lair to find Simon – Raphael wasn’t there to trick them! – and instead of him having been turned into a rat because of what he drank, he was just freaking chained up high. He was SUPPOSED TO BE A RAT. That part added some of the humour, but it was also kind of important to what happened to him next! Okay, they did resolve it, but seriously… What was the problem in turning the guy into a rat?!
However, my biggest issue with the entire film was the fact that they took out the hugely agonising part that takes all your feelings and rips them into tiny shreds and replaced it with… Hodge suggesting to Valentine that he pretend to Jace and Clary that they’re siblings. Ehhh, no. That’s not how it happened. In fact, that completely ruined the angst and emotion for those who hadn’t read the books. Why would you do that?! Now the audience know they’re not REALLY siblings, but the characters don’t. Just… Agh. That made me so angry!
As much as it sounds like I really disliked this film, it’s actually the opposite – I really enjoyed it, and would definitely see it again. I thought many of the characters were portrayed very well, and I loved how a lot of things were done. Although a lot of things were changed, I’m managing to look past that and just enjoy the film as a film – forget the book, just enjoy the fact that we have a film!
Actually, one of the main redeeming factors of this film (for me) wasn’t the acting, the character portrayals, anything like that – it was the music. The soundtrack was surprisingly good, considering the artists, but the Score. That score is beautiful. I love it, and it really added to the film in my opinion!
Overall, I wouldn’t give the film as high a mark I thought I would be – I’d have loved to give it a 10 out of 10 – but instead I think it deserves about a 7, maybe 7.5.
Despite the flaws, I’m still hoping for the sequel!