Film Review: The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones

It's not often that I allow myself to be seriously put-off by critic reviews. I generally don't have a lot of faith in them, because they are one person's opinion and quite often I'm not convinced that the film they're ranting about was even aimed at them. However, when we're talking 90% of critics really panning a film, it does get difficult to ignore all of them.

Oh, how I wish I'd listened.

Don't get me wrong, City of Bones - as a film - was fine, because there were strong signs of a really good film in there, and I think that with a little more effort it really could have been better. However, I can definitely understand why critics weren't so keen. It seemed rushed in places, whilst other places dragged, some of the dialogue was embarrassingly hammy and at times it got a bit confusing - and I say that as someone who has actually read the book.

When I saw Lily Collins in Mirror Mirror, I thought that her drippy expressions were all part of the silliness of the film, but no, I think we have Kristen Stewart Mark Two in the making with this one, because we appear to have mastered gormless and that is just about all we can do.

It's a shame because there were some strong performances from both Jamie Campbell-Bower (yes, he whose casting I wasn't keen on, proved me wrong) and Robert Sheehan. I like Godfrey Gao's Magnus as much as I was expecting (we just needed a bit more of him), and Jemima West was a better Isabelle than I thought she would be. I was a little less convinced by Kevin Zeger's Alec, but he played the grumpy jealous character okay I suppose.

It's hard to judge Lena Heady's Jocelyn, purely because she was a sleep through much of the film, and Aidan Turner's Luke was completely wasted. As I expected Jonathan Rhys Meyers was completely wrong for the role. Jared Harris was a strange one for me, but it amazed me how much he sounded like his Dad in this role.

For me, I feel that perhaps Cassandra Clare's original novel was too long and too overly-complicated for the space of two hours. Would it have fared better split into two films? A Television series? I'm not sure, but it seemed to lack a great deal of oomph due to missing plot events, underused characters, unexplained stories, changed storylines etc. I know that things will always be cut out - it's inevitable with book to film adaptations, but I just felt like a lot was missing as a result.

I really wanted to like this film, and I should assure that I didn't hate it, but as I said at the beginning - I can understand why critics do.

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