Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Keeping the Trend of Strong Females Going: The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones Reviewby Candice Cordelia
Ever since Twilight made its entree into movie theaters six years ago, audiences, especially of the female variety, have been seeking stronger female characters on film. Television had Buffy, Dana Scully, and Khaleesi, but where on film was the next Ellen Ripley for young girls to model themselves after? The answer to Bella Swan’s swooning, was Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence). Katniss, without superpowers, used her common sense and intelligence to best her competition under a totalitarian government. The second installment of The Hunger Games movie trilogy, Catching Fire, won’t be out until November, but in the meantime, Hollywood has served us the world within The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, as seen through the eyes of Clary Fray (Lily Collins), a strong female character who shares Bella’s (Kristen Stewart) similar looks and Katniss' determination and loyalty to her loved ones. In the movie version of Cassandra Clare’s book, Clary possesses a healthy dollop of humor and self-awareness. Not only must she deal with a male best friend, Simon (Robert Sheehan) worshiping the ground she walks on, while she loves him like a brother; she has a missing mother who never told her about her true identity and a biological father who she'd rather not know.
Full of werewolves, vampires, and shadowhunters, City of Bones is a mix of both the familiar and whimsical. In watching this film, I was immediately reminded of how much I missed Buffy and Angel on television. Both were staples of my teenage and young adult years and both taught me to revel in my weirdness and hyper-awareness about the world. It was great to get that same feeling from watching this movie. I really liked that it filtered lightheartedness throughout and that the actors got it. They really understood their characters and ran away with the humor and drama, juggling both with expert panache.
Jace, (Jamie Campbell Bower) who, in my opinion, was expertly cast, has the characteristics of most "bad boys" you were told not to date - broody, sarcastic, charming and wears a lot of black and leather.
Back to Simon, I wrote about this on my own blog, but I have to say it again - Robert Sheehan was magnificent. He chewed up the scenery as a non-annoying sidekick and best friend you kept rooting for! He took all of the humor that made him famous during his stint on the oft-praised UK television show, Misfits and inverted it into a more subtle, toned down method of comedic acting.
I was also pleasantly surprised by the appearance of Jonathan Rhys Meyers, as a baddie no less! Yes, there are a few corny moments, even for a romantic like me. But all in all, this young adult fantasy movie is a respectable summer flick, leaving me wanting more. Especially now that I know Sigourney Weaver and Lily Cole will be starring in the sequel. Unfortunately, The Mortal Instruments: City of Ashes won’t be out in theaters until next year, but that gives me more time to read the whole trilogy. I’m curious to see if there’s as much wit exposed in the books as there is in the film.
LAMB Score 3.5 out of 5
Also see Tinsel & Tine interview with Lily Collins, Jamie Campbell Bower & Cassandra Clare - Clary & Jace in Philly
Philly Film Blog