Monday, December 16, 2013

The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones (2013)

JohnnyTwoToes is disappointed with this dull teen adventure fantasy 

Okay, so while I may not be the target audience for The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones (TMI: COB), I still can hope for a remotely intelligent and thoughtful film with a dash of humor and adventure. RIGHT? Well, if you said yes to any of those questions or if you have a pulse and enjoy films, then TMI: COB is not for you. 

This film has been compared to other films like Harry Potter and Lord of The Rings not only in its subject matter but in its execution, with good reason. Of all the films this has been compared to,TMI: COB is an inferior rendition at the very best. Sorry, but I have to be honest. 

TMI: COB tells the story of a young girl named Clary (Lily Collins), who discovers she is a Shadowhunter; a demon killing Buffy if you will. She witnesses a strange killing in a nightclub on her birthday but only she can see it so, naturally everyone including her best friend, Simon (Robert Sheehan) think she is losing her marbles. Jace (Jamie Campbell Bower) is her mentor in the demon slaying world along with Alec (Kevin Zegers donning a very good British accent) and Isabelle (Jemima West). Clary's mother, Jocelyn (Lena Headey) harbors the dark secret of the Downworld but when demons take Jocelyn and put her into some kind of coma it is up to the Scooby gang to find her and slay some demons. *Yawn*. 

TMI:COB is a great looking film, visually. The cast is a great looking one, too, despite the over applied makeup to Jamie Campbell Bower as Jace. He looks like some kind of crossing dressing ghoul, complete with an almost anorexic frame, tattoos, sunken eyes and eye liner for those sunken eyes!!!

The problems with TMI:COB is pretty much EVERYTHING. It is poorly acted, the characters are one dimensional, the script (written by Jessica Postigo) is an amalgamation of not only Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings, but Underworld, Blood and Chocolate, Blade and pretty much any teen fantasy film. This has all been done before and done better. 

Like I said, I know I am not the target audience but I am sure the Harry Potter films were INTENDED for a younger audience than an average adult. How is it a film like TMI is such a wretched one? Simple. The characters are all. Even when Jared Harris (Giles to Buffy's Clary), and Jonathan Rhys Meyers as the main villain, Valentine enter the film (almost 90 minutes into it), by then it is too little, too late. These characters have nothing intelligent to say or do and they all wander through set piece after set piece with dull action scenes and predictability throughout the entire story. How many times do we have to sit through the the hero and the heroine falling on top of each other, their lips nearly locked and their eyes entrancing each other as that fleeting sexual moment arises. Just as they seem to lock up in each others arms and passions, they immediately clear their throats and jump to their feet. Why? Because we can't have these two bumping uglies just yet. Sadly, we have two more films for them to do the deed and create more little Shadowhunters. There is that scene as well as a laughable one in which our hero and heroine lock lips in a building called The Institute. Yes, folks they lock up and the music swells and then it starts to rain on them as they embrace. IN THE BUILDING, mind you. Yes, just like Pig Pen from the Peanuts, who has a cloud of dust following him around wherever he goes, these two have well cued rain clouds. Either that or someone needs to get the sprinkler system looked at. I could just go on and on..

TMI: COB is an excruciatingly inept film in just about every area. Uninteresting, dull, predictable and enough sappy nonsense to make even a die hard teenage girl puke up her Coke and Juju beans. Only the visual effects and Atli Orvarsson's score seemed to keep me from gouging out my my eyes with my drink straw. Harry Potter and just about every other referenced film TMI: COB is derived from shows you can have a great script, intelligent and interesting characters and competent direction to make a great film that appeals to all demographics. Norwegian Director Harald Zwart (One Night At McCool's, 2009's Karate Kid) is more than able to direct good films but this is certainly not one of them. Worse news, yet? A sequel is coming in the not too distant future. Up to this point, with the same director and writer. They wouldn't? Would they? Oh, most certainly they would. City Of Bones: The Mortal Instruments-* out of 4.


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