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The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones Movie Review

Updated on May 19, 2014

The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones Poster

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Quote from "The Plot Line"

The main plot of this movie involves a regular teenage girl Clary-played by Lily Collins. She starts to draw a symbol she doesn't know everywhere. Shortly after that she witnesses some people killing someone, and disturbingly no one else can see the people. Her mom then is abducted and Clary gets help from the people she saw that killed someone to find her mom. She learns they are shadow hunters and that the person they murdered was actually a demon. She faces demons, fairies, vampires, werewolves, and learns her mom kept a secret from her.

The Mortal Instruments City of Bones Rating

3 stars for The Mortal Instruments City of Bones

The Plot Line

The story line of The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones is fairly fast paced and slightly confusing if you haven't read the book.

The main plot of this movie involves a regular teenage girl Clary-played by Lily Collins. She starts to draw a symbol she doesn't know everywhere. Shortly after that she witnesses some people killing someone, and disturbingly no one else can see the people. Her mom then is abducted and Clary gets help from the people she saw that killed someone to find her mom. She learns they are shadow hunters and that the person they murdered was actually a demon. She faces demons, fairies, vampires, werewolves, and learns her mom kept a secret from her.

On first viewing this in the theater I didn't understand what was happening in some scenes. I read the book after to fill in the parts that were jumbled to me and it greatly helped to do so. It stays fairly close to the book at first. It does go off the book's plot though to keep the movie more fast paced. This is a shame as the book uses it's slower parts to explain more about the world of the shadow hunters and to add more depth to the characters. The endings are also very different in the book and the movie. It may have been a budget issue, as they would have had to build an additional set to do the book's ending.

The plot could have been better, but it makes sense why the writers chose to differentiate from the book for more action and a quicker story.


City of Bones Poster

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The Characters

The writers and actors stay close to the books portrayal of most of the characters. My favorites were definitely Magnus Bane, Simon, Jocelyn, and Clary. Magnus was perfect and Jocelyn and Clary were well cast and look like they could really be related. Simon was funny and contrasted greatly with the rest of the more serious characters. I was really excited to see the "hot dwarf" from "The Hobbit" plays the character Luke- a werewolf and Jocelyn's best friend. He had great chemistry with Jocelyn. I'm bummed they won't be able to show their relationship as they aren't making more movies.The rest of the shadow hunter cast pull off their roles well.

The weakest characters are Valentine and his cronies. For some reason they chose to change Valentine's hair color, which was described in the book as white or pale blonde, to black. Valentine and his henchmen also come off as incredibly dim. Valentine was much smarter and devious in the book.

After reading some message boards on imdb for TMI: City of Bones, I was amazed at the staggering number of people that had a problem with the casting of Jace. I think Jamie Campbell Bower was perfect in the role. He was snide, sarcastic, insensitive, and yet alluring. It seems like many fans of the books wanted Alex Pettyfer to play Jace. While Alex is a decent actor he has already done a teen fantasy type movie with "Beastly" and probably didn't want to become type cast for those sort of roles. Even if you were dead set on Alex playing Jace please give Jamie a chance. He worked hard for the role of Jace and won the part over many other skilled actors.

TMI City of Bones Trailer

The Music

The score is superbly done. It sets the emotional scenes perfectly. It is worth a listen to on it's own if you have the down time or need some background music while doing a project.

The soundtrack consists of electronic songs used for the fight scenes that are great and also pop songs for the lovey dovey bits and alt rock songs in the credits. This makes for an uneven music vibe. They should have stuck to one or two music types. It's a bit messy and could have been put together a little cleaner. I like the Demi Lovato pop song but the Colbie pop song in here comes off as weird in this kind of movie. Her voice I associate with summer, beaches, and waves. Not demon fighting movies.

Clary Movie Poster

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Who Will Enjoy This Movie

People that like movies such as "Mirror Mirror", "Snow White and the Huntsman", "Alice Miniseries", "The Tenth Kingdom Miniseries", "Underworld". "Warm Bodies", or "The Brothers Grimm" may like this one. Keep in mind it's more geared toward teen audiences and women and girls.

Where to Find "TMI: City of Bones"

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