Wednesday, December 18, 2013
Movie Review: The Mortal Instruments
I think I've told this story before, but when this movie came out, I was very excited to see it. I'd just recently read the books and really liked them. But, for the first few weeks it was in theaters (and by few, I mean something like six or eight) I was either too busy or didn't have the funds to go see it.
One weekend, my sister (who is also a fan of the books) and I realized we were free and could go see it. Finally. Yeah, it had left the theaters by then. We were SO disappointed!
But, it's okay. It's on DVD now and I finally got to watch it. I will admit that the first time I watched it, I had some issues with it. I think it's because I spent most of the movie cataloging what they differently from the books. But, each time I watch it (I've seen it three times now) I like it a little bit better. It's kind of won me over.
Actors: Lilly Collins did a good job as Clary. My only gripe was her appearance. In the book, she has fiery red hair. In the film, they gave her that fake, purplish color, and then also put it on her mother, as though it was inherited. Yet, it's so obviously fake. The effect came off as kind of lame, in my opinion. Jamie Campbell Bower was great as Jace, except that he's so thin, his bones poke out of his face and make him look skeletal. As an actor, I'm a big fan of his, but the dude seriously needs to gain some weight. Jonathon Rhys-Meyers was awesome as Valentine. Give him a bad-guy role, and he always delivers! The only other character problem I had was with Isabelle. The actress did fine, but they didn't play her as spunky and snarky as they did in the book, and that made me like her less. She just had a lot more personality in the books. Oh, and I wish Alec had been in it more. The stuff they did with him was fine, but I felt like he only had five minutes of screen time, and he's a major player in the books.
Plot: Of course they had to stream-line everything to fit it all in. The climax felt like it was an hour long because they smooshed all the action together at the end. It didn't really bother me in and of itself, though. I'd rather they did that than cut major events all together. I wasn't a huge fan of the way they handled Hodge's story line, but even that was minor. The thing that really bothered me was that they told the audience WAY too much up front. There's an aspect of the story--fans of the books will know which one I mean--that was the oh-my-gosh-no-they-didn't twist ending of the first book. It isn't fully resolved until book three. In the film, they told the audience the answer to it before it even happened. That will let the air out of the most of the conflict and tension that drives the characters through the next two installments. I mean, really? Definitely not a huge fan of that decision.
Effects: They were pretty good. They went with a dog-demon, rather than an alligator demon at the beginning, but it was gross and creepy, so I didn't mind that. There was a goofy thing they did with the ether of the Portal. The part where Jace explains it to Clary was supposed to be sweet, I think, but I thought it was a little bit creepy. LOL. Maybe it was just me. I was a bit disappointed that we didn't get to see Simon turn into a mouse. Despite the weirdness of it, I thought it was one of the more charming, humorous aspects of the story and the film did away with it completely. Understandable, I suppose, but still disappointing.
Minor Gripes: Okay, I gotta say it. They did tone down some things. Like the part where Alec hits Clary and throws her into the wall. I get that it's a domestic violence type situation and they're trying to make the move more family-friendly, but I have a bit of a pet peeve when they tone down situations like these. It takes out so much of the drama and makes aspects of the plot seem very mediocre. I had this issue about Ender's Game recently, too. I get it, but I still have to complain about it, ya know?
Overall: I really liked the film. If you're a purist, you'll have a few issues with it, but given what they had to work with, I thought they did a good job. Not sure what it's box office numbers looked like but if they make more films, I'll definitely go see them.
Did anyone else see the Mortal Instruments film? How did you like it?