Last week I had the opportunity to watch a film based on my favourite book series. I’m always a little skeptical when I watch a film based on a book I’ve read. I understand you have to cut chunks out to make a book you can spend over 40 hours reading into a 1 and a half hour film. However it always bothers me when they edit the story to meet film length needs.
Anyway, here’s my first film review on The mortal instruments: City of bones (2013)…
Firstly, I was mildly surprised to find some now, well known actors and actress’ in this film; Lena headey who plays Cersei Lannister in Game of thrones, Jamie Campbell Bower who was in Twilight and in Sweeney Todd. Usually those who are portraying characters in a film do not attract me to buy it, but I did find the line up interesting. (Coming from a huge Game of thrones fan).
The story is about a teen named Clary who finds out, upon her mothers vanishing, that she is a descendant from a line of shadow hunters. These are beings who use runes and other weapons to remove demons from the world. She ends up joining a group of them in New York through a series of events. She also discovers that beings such as Vampires, wolves and warlocks exist too.
Don’t read on if you don’t want spoilers…
She finds out that she is the daughter of an exiled shadow hunter who had done bad things in the past to try and improve and create a superior race of shadow hunters. This included injecting himself with demon blood to try and control the demons, as well as inject his pregnant wife with various bloods to see the effects. His ‘circle’ was quickly disbanded when he faked his death, claiming to burn in a house fire with his son (Clary’s brother?)
Clary discovers that her father had returned, and was seeking out an object called ‘the mortal cup’. It’s said that drinking from the cup enables any mundane (normal human) to become a shadow hunter, capable of bearing the runes that would kill a mundane otherwise. Her mother was the last person seen with it, and had hidden it.
Clary eventually manages to find the cup, but her father, Valentine has already found her and the institute she was staying at. The institute was home of many other shadow hunters, including Jace whom she found a romance with.
The film was dumbed down a lot, as I had expected. From the storyline, to even the lore. I think they anticipated it to become a saga as they left a few loose ends untied. The relationship between Clary and Jace was never clarified. They had fallen in love but where they brother and sister?
Obviously the film had missed out a lot in comparison to the book, some parts were less necessary than others. However I feel in missing out a few pieces, or having to chop and cut pieces of the story together for times sake, it took away a little from the well thought plot and story. Perhaps that’s why there was no second or third film.
After reading the books I was truly excited for anything to follow, and although I enjoyed the film, it was no where near as good as the books; as expected. If you’ve not read the books, you’re more likely to take the film for it’s entertainment value and ideas behind it. If you’ve read the books you’re likely to be less appreciative over what was cut and changed in order to make this a film.
I do recommend watching it as the ideas behind it are amazing, just don’t expect it to be better than the books- because it’s not.
Rating if you’ve read the books: 5/10
Rating if you’ve not read the books: 8/10