Thursday, August 22, 2013
The Mortal Instruments: City of ......Not Quite Epic, but Still Not Bad
Movie companies are searching for the next big thing to bring in teens and tweens. Twilight like it or not made some pretty solid coin. The Hunger Games is cleaning up movies like The Host and I am 24 failed to do the same. Now we take another series of popular young adult novels and try to create some movie magic. I have never read the books, am in my thirties, and found Mortal Instruments to be OK. Not good, not great, but there is a bigger audience than just the Twi-Hards.
The story borrows from a lot of things. It's a little Constantine, mixed with The Vampire Diaries, and some Harry Potter thrown in. There are two worlds. The one that we live in and can see and the one that we can't. The latter is inhabited by werewolves, warlocks, vampires, and demons. A group of tattooed warriors called "Shadow Hunters." They keep the peace and protect humans or mundanes as they call them. A renegade shadow hunter is seeking an object of power hidden in our world and the balance is threatened. A young girl is caught in the middle after realizing she could see the hidden world. Her being half human and half shadow hunter has left her with special abilities that catch the eye and heart of Jace. Together they must protect the world from the forces of evil.
Lily Collins plays Clary an does well as the typical teenage girl who becomes caught up in a much bigger world. It feels like her character is a little Selene and Bella rolled into one. She is never too far beyond her limits, but I feel like she is probably better defined in the books that I've yet to read. It is a typical boy is in love with a girl who doesn't love her back story. In typical fashion, she falls for the dangerous bad boy who cannot be with her based on some very serious issues. Same story, but with a Star Wars type twist.
Jonathan Rhys Meyers is the Valentine, the fallen shadow hunter. He is also Clary's evil father. He breaks the laws of their world to strengthen his people. The character is written from a good place, but Rhys Meyers is wasted. He never comes across as evil enough and at times looks silly. One of my common pet peeves, if you've read my reviews, is a villain who doesn't appear terrifying enough. I think he is a good actor, but Valentine just didn't have enough bad vibes for my taste.
Jamie Campbell Bower also let me down. Little girls everywhere will disagree, but I never felt like he brought the character of Jace to life. I was into the concept of the shadow hunters and appreciated the world that they lived in, but I never felt like Bower fit into the role. Fans at one point were leaning toward Alex Petyfer and/or Garret Hedlund and I would've agreed with both. Bower would look great if cast as the lead singer of a band, but not as a tattooed, bad ass, warrior.
The movie wasn't bad and would check out a sequel. The weapons, the creatures, ad the world of Mortal Instruments were all pretty cool. All in all the movie tried and the attempt will probably find it's audience. It won't see the financial success of Twilight or Hunger Games, but it is not nearly as bad as R.I.P.D. or After Earth. Check it out. We have all seen worse.