Release date in Malaysia: August 22nd 2013
Distributor / studio: GSC Movies / Sony Pictures, Constantin Film & more
Genre: Action adventure, fantasy, romance
Running Time: 130 minutes
Director: Harald Zwart
Writer: Jessica Postigo Paquette
Cast: Lily Collins, Jamie Campbell Bower, Lena Headey, Jonathan Rhys Meyers
Synopsis: Based on The New York Times bestselling young adult novel, The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones follows the journey of Clary Fray (Mirror Mirror’s Lily Collins), a seemingly ordinary teenager who discovers that she is in fact a descendent from a long line of Shadowhunters, a secret cadre of half-angel warriors locked in an ancient battle to protect our world from assorted demons; a battle largely unseen by human eyes.
Verdict: From watching the film, I can understand why The Mortal Instruments was one of the top young adult fantasy novels. It has an interesting mashup of the anime elements and popular creatures – demons, werewolves, vampires, magic powers, a more open love story with homosexuality and a bit of incest involved (which young girls absolutely love these days), and maybe more in the books. But if I was a fan of the novel series, I’d probably be at least a bit pissed with this adaptation of City of Bones. The book was taken and simply turned it into a typical Hollywood garbage. Instead of taking a dark and deeper approach which totally suits the premise, the director rushes into subject without proper character development and focuses a lot on the unnecessary cheesy romance drama, making some parts unintentionally hilarious. It’s very obvious that this production had no intention of targeting other audiences besides teenagers that won’t question inconsistencies, classlessness or why the hell they tried to “Twilight” up a FANTASY film.
Second opinion: “Not interesting; maybe it’s better to just read the book” (girlfriend).
Malaysian censorship: I recall only 3 chops – 1 during a kissing scene and 2 more, I believe, were demon creatures being stabbed. Human shooting each other, it’s fine. Mutant cutting up plenty of people with his adamantium claws, it’s fine as well. But human killing demons, woahhh, cannot. I’m getting tired of finding new ways to stress out just how inconsistent our local board of censorship is.
Rating: 2 / 5
Charity: If you’re interested in this movie, why not watch it for a good cause? It doesn’t what I think about the film ’cause you might like it more than I did. Donate a minimum of RM15 to the GSC-HOPE community charity project and get a free ticket to catch this film on August 24th 2013. Read more about it here.
[SPOILER SECTION BEGINS HERE]——————————————————————————————–
Things accidentally left unexplained or probably just flaws: It’s not clear what curse exactly is on Hodge (Jared Harris) that makes him choose to betray the protagonist Clary Fray (Lily Collins). During the climax of the film, he hides around looking on instead of helping his “students” in battle, which he should ’cause this is after Valentine (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) sort of breaks his promise of lifting the curse. His intentions are not explained. Then we have Simon (Robert Sheehan), an ordinary teenager who gets bitten by vampires in the process of the story and becomes stronger (he’s able to take down demon Madame Dorothea in one scene) but for unknown reasons, he doesn’t get burnt when exposed to sunlight like the other vampires. It is also not explained what happened to the real Madame Dorothea (CCH Pounder). Finally, we have Jace (Jamie Campbell Bower), supposed just another “Shadow Hunter”, somehow manages to put up a good one-on-one fight against Valentine, the main villain who’s been drinking from the Mortal Cup and experimenting to become more powerful for years.
Clary Fray… is certainly not a likable character by grownups and definitely not one that teen girls should be admire. Instead, they should look at her flaws, which none would, of course. At the beginning of the film, it is clearly shown that she doesn’t really listen to her mum or even talk to her when she thinks she’s going crazy. Then when her in-danger mum calls her, she doesn’t wanna pick until Jace, the guy whom she thinks is a murderer, tells her to ’cause the ringtone is annoying him. Later on, she even scolds and blames her best friend-slash-secret admirer, Simon, for not answering HER mother’s calls. She also friendzones Simon clearly because he’s not as cool as Jace. Then in the scene where she’s supposed to be worried or at least have a lot in her mind, she makes a joke on her werewolf friend who’s going to help her. Basically, she’s just another dumb American bitch like in most other mainstream American movies. And wait, there’s more. Read the below:
Characters too horny? Clary Fray’s mum Jocelyn (Lena Headey) gets kidnapped by demons and gets a lot of help from Jace. Never once Clary questions or feel suspicious as to why Jace is helping her, even though she has been warned by him to not trust anyone. Even after her best friend-slash-secret admirer and her mum’s high warlock friend Magnus Bane warn her that Jace and the shadow hunters could be using her to get the Mortal Cup, she doesn’t even try to consider the fact that Jace and his bunch may be the bad guys as well. Yeah sure, ’cause she’s “too in love”, right? When Valentine reveals that the Clary and Jace are siblings, Jace tells Clary that “he wish that he could tell her it’s not true”. Then at the end, he tells her that “his heart doesn’t feel that it’s true” or “he still (LOL?) doesn’t believe that their siblings” or something like that (can’t specifically recall). Can’t blame him though, Clary’s very bang-able.