I am not the audience for The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, so this is lost on me. I will say this, though. Hollywood needs to cease and desist from making these movies. They are only hurting the intellectual and emotional development of anyone who comes across them. This movie, coupled with Beautiful Creatures, makes me believe that the next generation of moviegoing audiences is doomed. Doomed, I say!!!
Clary Fray (Lily Collins) is your typical teenager living with her mother in New York City. Well, your typical teenager for a paranormal romance set in New York City. Her mother (Lena Headey) is a painter and they live with her mom's boyfriend, Luke. He's a werewolf. I got that within the first three minutes of the movie. No one can pull off the haircut without the lycanthropic suspicion. Maxwell Sheffield wouldn't be caught dead with that bad of a white streak in his hair. Anyway!
Clary goes out with her friend Simon (Robert Sheehan, the only actor to have a natural reaction to anything) to a poetry reading. I don't think poetry readings actually exist. I've never seen one, or heard of one advertised. Pleasr alert me in the event that I am wrong. After Simon and Clary leave the poetry reading
that only exists in movies, they go to a club, and, while dancing, Clary sees a skuzzy, hooded guy kill a heavily-guy-lined, goth hottie. The skuzzy, hooded, murderer guy turns out to be Jace Wayland (Jamie Campbell Bower), and Clary is the only one who can see him.
Turns out that Clary is the descendant in a long line of Shadowhunters (essentially demon killers). I want to know what her post high school aspirations were? Did she plan on going to college? Major in architecture? I am just curious. Obviously, there is no time for that, because she needs to become a pawn in an otherwordly adventure. Oh! And to become part of a paranormal teen romance. Natch. Audiences aren't buying tickets to watch the alleged plot here.
A torrent of things begin to happen very quickly. Her mother, Jocelyn, is attacked by goons looking for the Mortal Cup. This baddie named Valentine has been hunting it for years, and he (rightfully) suspects that Jocelyn took it. Clary is taken to these large, brooding men whose mouths are stitched closed in order to regain some of her confusing memories. Jace doesn't wash his hair. Basically, Clary needs to find out who she really is, and, apparently, she is a Shadowhunter warrior. I know they all hunt demons, but I am still sort of confused as to what the point of this all is. Another thing that has been plaguing me is how the Shadowhunters pay for their way of life. Their headquarters, The Institute, is this gorgeous church-like lair, and it's a production designers wet dream. I think the art direction might be my favorite thing about the movie. Shrug.
There is one point in Clary and Jace's eventual courtship that made me laugh out loud. He is discussing his relationship with his father, and the two end up kissing. When Jace walks Clary back to her room, they find Simon waiting there for her. Jace flies off the handle, and these words come out of his mouth: "How dare you dismiss our love." Um, exsqueeze me? Our love? If you want to be a real heroine here, Clary, you might want to tell Jace that he's moving the teensiest bit fast. Just a thought.
While we are talking about flaws, I would like to point out to Lily Collins that someone in her inner circle isn't telling her the truth about her caterpillar eyebrows. She has to have at least some gay friends, right? Tweeze those suckers, girl! I only want to help you. And Jamie Campbell Bower just needs to grab some Herbal Essences. Lather, rinse, repeat. WASH YOUR DAMN HAIR!!! Guess they don't teach you that in The Institute. Oh! Did I mention that Jace and Clary might be brother and sister? A fact they learn after their makeout session. Despite The Mortal Instruments apparent box office failure, I assume they are going to adapt the second book in the series (City of Ashes) just to clear this up? So City of Bones is kind of like Say It Isn't So but with hotter, tattooed people and an unwashed wardrobe!!!
On some level, this could be fun. Perhaps I need to lighten up, but I couldn't take anything seriously in this movie. The thing that interested me the most was the fact that they introduced a legit gay character into the teen-swoon-literature-turned-movie world. Alec (Kevin Zegers, always welcome) is a Shadowhunter who fights demons alongside Jace and Clary. Progress comes in small steps.