Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

September 11, 2013

“Mortal Instruments” seesaws between snores, agonizing angst

Movie Review

Ezra Mann
Pauls Valley Democrat — Try and tolerate with all of my might, there are just simply some films where the only way I can make it through is to accept that at least I am not suffering through the crap alone. As I get further away from the age range myself, there are occasions when it is a real struggle to bear certain extended scenes of teen angst.

It doesn’t so much ruin a movie, citing flicks along the lines of “The Host,” where there were moments where at least the concept behind the plot was interesting, but too much of the gag me lovey dovey conflicted emotions stuff and you will lose all but followers of its cult. Such seemed to be the case as no matter how long I waited for something tolerable surface beneath the quagmire of hormone bayou, the more I wished I was an immortal victim of “The Highlander.” It’s almost as if some fanboy/girl fiction was stolen from some 40 year old “Twilight” fan’s blog for “Mortal Instruments: City of Bones” and woe unto those who stumble upon it unaware.

Set in the self-centered teenage girl rage interpretation of New York City, we are introduced to the lead winey character Clary Fray (Lily Collins), who may be tripping on chemical changes in her body or acid as she is drawing or seeing some rune-like symbol on every surface. The only friend (and I use this term loosely as he is about as cherished as talent in a Miley Cyrus live performance) seems to be Simon Lewis (Robert Sheehan), who doesn’t at first seem to understand her decent into trippy land.

Her mother, we come to understand does have an idea of what is happening and is extremely concerned, but only gets blown off by her gosh darn loveable daughter, that is until mom is kidnapped by CGI creatures of unusual size (actually two thugs and a dog that is made out of gelatin and guts). She may very well be doomed and sucked into the madness of what’s going on until Hunky Super Emo Dude and Shadow Hunter (supposedly saviors of humanity who battle hidden evil forces), Jace Wayland (Jamie Campbell Bower), saves her and at a stupidly slow pace starts to help reveal that the world is at constant war between angels and demons. Sadly what points in the adventure that attempt to approach cool like a Harry Potter like castle church thing acting as save the world central for the shadow hunters is repeatedly smothered by the love tug of war with the cherry on top being a built in music video where I could almost feel my eyes and ears start to bleed.

There are a lot of comparisons to it being a shameless copy of that certain previously mentioned sparkly vampire series and I might start to argue against that if it weren’t for the slight re-adaptation of werewolves to be the girls adopted uncle figure Luke Garroway (Aidan Turner), instead of a shirtless competing love interest. Yet, what seems to drive the final steak into the audience’s heart is the suggestion of a Luke Skywalker and Leia connection right after an intense make out session and even though that may indeed be disproven if a sequel can climb out of the ashes, the very idea creeps the heck out of any further interaction between the two love birds from then on.

The best I can say is to tread very lightly as I’m not sure I could even recommend this to a real fragile teenage girl, who might receive further reinforcement from a world that increasingly replaces “reality drama” with intelligent television programming. That said, I’m glad to say I’ll leave this one behind in the hopefully forgotten without intense therapy later on. From my lowly court here on earth, I deem the verdict for “Mortal Instruments: City of Bones” to be one and a half out of five heartthrobs.