I broke down why I was equal parts ashamed and excited about this movie in my first TN post, and I still stand by most of those initial reactions. And then when the trailers started rolling out, I was really excited: the movie looked good.
But, as most of you know, this movie has gotten some of the worst reviews of all time … 12% on Rotten Tomatoes is abysmal, y’all. Twilight at least had like a 64%. But fan reaction has been hugely supportive and positive. “So true to the books and so awesome!” “Perfect!” I think there were even trending topics trying to get people to see it again this weekend (don’t think those worked, but A for effort).
So, I’m a fan of the books. They aren’t my favorites or anything, but I think they are entertaining. And I’m willing to forgo their dodgy beginnings as maybe Harry Potter fanfic to enjoy a well-crafted story. Also, I have no biased or vested interest in giving the movie a glowing review. So what does a *ahem* fairly intelligent, unbiased, rational fan of The Mortal Instruments have to say about the movie adaptation?
City of Bones was not a TERRIBLE movie. If you are fan of the books, you will be happy to see a lot of it realized on screen: The Institute. Madame Dorothea. Izzy’s whip. Simon’s crush. Luke.
But if you aren’t a fan of the books, if you haven’t read the books, you are left with NOTHING but questions. Lots of them. There is SO much going on that it’s hard to get how they move from one place to another and I KNOW WHAT’S GOING TO HAPPEN. And what’s so super strange about it is on one hand they are BOMBARDING you with information and exposition and back story. And then when it’s over, there are millions of loose ends. Not cliff-hangers, let’s see a sequel loose ends, but just things that went NOWHERE.
So in lieu of an actual review, I’m just going to put all my questions in one place. Who knows? Maybe someone will see this and answer them for the director’s cut. Or … at the very least, make sure to not do this in the sequel. (Cause oh yeah, they are making the sequel).
I have questions.
1. They don’t explain the City of Bones really. And they only spend like 15 seconds there. So shouldn’t it be called The Mortal Instruments: The Institute? Or The Mortal Instruments: The Watery Portal? Or The Mortal Instruments: The Fray’s Unusually Bright New York Apartment? Or The Mortal Instruments: Java Juice … because that’s where the movie actually takes place?
2. That moment where one of Luke’s werewolves says they can’t go the Institute because it “goes against the Accords.” They are literally NEVER mentioned before or after. Great job with one of the major plot points, there.
3. Why is Valentine wearing dreads? Did he have a bad weekend in Thailand?
4. Remember these things? The Mortal Cup and the Mortal Sword (and the … other one), and how together they make up the Mortal Instruments, the title of the entire freaking saga? Would’ve been cool to hear about more than just the cup.
5. This question will seem like nonsense if you haven’t seen the movie, but it drove me nuts and I have to put it out there. What are the Wooly Willy things that Alec and Izzy pour on the floor over Dorothea’s place? They look like they are supposed to help warn them if something untoward happens, but they literally help no one. And WHY is Jace goading her with the Bach song, but then totally unprepared when she goes demon? THIS SCENE MAKES NO SENSE.
6. Why did they make this look kind of hot? HE’S HER DAD.
7. This movie introduces a heck of a lot of creatures. But oh … ZOMBIES can’t exist. Thanks for the clarification and the condescension, Izzy.
8. Why were the Silent Brothers loud as hell? (thanks for this one, Vicky)
9. Will someone PLEASE ACTUALLY SAY WHAT THIS SYMBOL MEANS BECAUSE IT’S ALL OVER THE DAMN PLACE AND CLARY IS DYING TO KNOW BUT NO ONE EVER SAYS “OH THAT RUNE MEANS DIARRHEA” OR WHATEVER!!!!
10. Apparently Clary has the best gaydar of all time because … Alec, WHAT? That came out of nowhere.
11. Why is Clary using her newly found, totally unique rune-making powers to clean her apartment? Why not create a rune that gets her mom out of that coma?
12. Exploding portals turn into Narnia????
13. After what supposed to be a WAY DRAMATIC love triangle scene, Jace is what … marking himself with a “rejection sucks” rune?
14. There are approximately 75 things that go unexplained or unmentioned altogether in this movie. Did we have to add the bit about Bach? I mean why … and … what?
So … bring on the haters, but I don’t see how you can objectively watch this movie and not come away wondering how that script got through the production process. Just so much was unanswered. It was a series of VIGNETTES instead of a COHERENT NARRATIVE*.
*stolen from my comments
What do you guys think? Are you totally confused even though you know all the answers from the book like me? Did anyone see it with someone who hasn’t read it? What did they say?