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City of Bones Movie Review

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City of Bones Movie Review

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Magical beings and fantasy creatures have always played a huge role in literature and entertainment, but now it seems more prominent than ever. The genre was done to death with “Harry Potter” and especially the “Twilight” franchise with its brooding, woe-is-me characters, yet Hollywood still manages to crank out some lusty, sci-fi movie adaptations.

“The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones” takes place in New York City where Clary Fray lives alone with her mother in their small, downtown apartment. Around her 17th birthday, Clary begins seeing mysterious symbols and violent scenes that no-one else appears to notice.

As if thinking she’s lost her mind isn’t bad enough, her mother is abducted by her infamous father, Valentine.  In the quest to save her mom and discover the truth, Clary finds herself in need of assistance from her nerdy best friend, Simon, and a group of young Shadowhunters—half angel demon-hunters that conjure their power by drawing symbols on their skin called runes. During her journey, Clary learns things about the world, and most importantly herself, that will change her life forever.

“City of Bones” was originally a novel written by Cassandra Clare and is a prime example of a situation in which you shouldn’t judge a book by its movie adaptation. The potential the book had to become a show-stopping blockbuster is outstanding and I blame Movie Director, Harald Zwart, for the film’s extremely low two-star rating.

Had there been a different, more capable director, no one would have to endure the numerous clichés and cheesy romances. Jace—Clary’s love interest—and Clary’s first kiss was probably the tackiest, cringe-worthy scene I’ve watched in years.

My favorite is when Jace enlightened Clary that Bach was actually a Shadowhunter who created songs using complex musical settings that work like an extremely painful dog whistle for demons. As if I wasn’t laughing hard enough at that point, I about lost it when the camera zoomed in on a well-known self-portrait in which you could see rune markings on Bach’s wrist and collar.

Embarrassed by my fit of laughter, I was relieved to see that no one else in the theater could keep a straight face either.

While the novel’s fans may seem to enjoy it, or at least watch with interest as the book’s characters are brought to life on screen, anyone who hasn’t read Clare’s book will be extremely confused and are only in for a rollercoaster of ill-fitting dialogue, way too much exposition and a cliché love-triangle that goes absolutely nowhere.

It’s not all bad. There are some intriguing, well-done parts of the movie that I was pretty happy with. Plus, the combat choreography was great.

However, being a hardcore Mortal Instruments fan, I’m still bitterly disappointed. Read the books, forget about the movie. I give it a five out of ten.

14rmoravek@usd489.com

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City of Bones Movie Review