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Let’s break down all the elements. Shall we?
The movie is very true to the book and the characters are very well interpreted. Some of the characters were exactly as I imagined them, while others were even better.
As I mentioned in my previous post about the movie, I was not all that convinced with the casting for the role of Jace. In the books, Jace is, to put it simply, breath-taking. Jace is golden like an angel; all blond hair and golden eyes. He also has a strong personality and he is so sure of himself that he sometimes comes across as arrogant. But under this façade we ca see who he really is: a sixteen year old boy who has lived a very hard, if short life; a boy who has lost many loved ones and whose mind is set on protecting the ones he has left. Under Jace’s self-confidence there is a great amount of vulnerability and a lot of daddy issues that he has never been able to overcome.
Even though I have to admit that, in the movie, Jamie Campbell Bower looks nothing like Jace, that is something I knew since I saw the trailer. Having said that, I believe that he did a good job. Although I hope that in the upcoming movies we get to see the vulnerability and sporadic sweetness that make Jace adorable.
I loved Lilly Collins as Clary. I really don’t have much to say about Clary because I admit that she is not among my favorite characters of the series. But, what are we going do? We can’t have a story without a lead female role. At least, in the movie, I think that the chemistry between the actors playing the main roles was as intense as in the books. In the next movie we will get to see more about the drama of them being brother and sister or not
Now, one of the characters that I Iove from the books and also the movie is Simon. And it the movie, Simon was spot on. I love Robert Sheehan since I first saw him in the TV series Misfits, so I knew he would do a good job. But all my expectations were surpassed. The Simon in the movie is exactly the same Simon in the books. He’s just as I imagined him.
Simon and Clary’s relationship in the movie is also very well portrait in the movie. It’s actually just like in the books. And, to be honest, one of my favorite things in the books is, precisely, Simon and Clary’s relationship. I love the way they are best friends, almost brother and sister, but with the underlying tension due to the fact that Simon is really in love with Clary and she knows it.
Other characters that I loved in the movie, just like in the books, are Isabelle (Jemima West) and Alec (Kevin Zegers). I thought it was very interesting that, from the very beginning, it was obvious that Alec was in love with Jace. In the books, this plotline is developed in a much more subtle way, but I understand that, in the movie there was not enough time to let us figure it out slowly.
I also liked Lena Headey as Jocelyn. And I have to admit that, even though when I first saw Aidan Turner as Luke I felt deeply disappointed, as the movie went on, he ended up winning me over; particularly in his scenes as werewolf.
The previous generation’s love triangle can’t be complete without Valentine, interpreted by Jonathan Rhys Meyers. Ever since I saw the movie trailer, I was sold with this casting. I thought it was absolutely brilliant they casted him for the role of Valentine. I’ve loved Jonathan Rhys Meyers in everything I’ve seen him. I think he is a very talented actor; not to mention that he’s gorgeous. And in this movie he only gave us a preview of how evil Valentine can be. I can’t wait for the next movie.
In the books, we can see that Valentine is one of those bad guys who started out as an idealist opposed to the status quo who resented the figures of authority and the institutions with power and he reveled against them. But, somewhere along the way, he allowed that same power to corrupt him and he became a monster. That was why Jocelyn ran away; to protect Clary.
Now, a character that surpassed all my expectations was Magnus Bane, interpreted by Godfrey Gao. And I should tell you that is saying a lot, because, if I have to choose one single character as my favorite in the whole series, that definitely is Magnus Bane.
It is true that, in City of Bones, Magnus Bane is a secondary character, but later on, in City of Ashes and City of Glass, he becomes one of the main characters. This is another reason why I’m waiting for the following movies, so I can see this character get more screen time.
What do I like about Magnus Bane? Actually, the question should be: How can
I not love him? He is a fascinating character: an eight hundred years old very powerful warlock who lives as a rich and eccentric cosmopolite from New York.
I love that under his cynical attitude of “in eight hundred years I’ve seen everything”, Magnus has a soft, romantic heart, and, like everyone else, he craves for love and affection. And, of course, it doesn’t hurt the fact that Godfrey Gao is super sexy.
I really liked the way the demons were presented. I am usually very apprehensive about how this will turn out in this type of movies, but I have to say that, in City of Bones, the demons were really scary, especially, in my opinion, the ones with human form. The guy in the club and the policemen with their white eyes scared me to death. And let’s not talk about the little girl in the middle of the street and the demon who impersonated Madame Dorothea; super creepy both of them.
I particularly liked the dog-demon in Clary’s apartment. That one is definitely the stuff of nightmares. I also liked who they made the demons that get into the Institute at the end of the movie. It was a very cool visual effect.
What I hoped to see
That been said, there were a few things that I hoped to see in this movie, but didn’t.
For example, where is the ravener? When I read the book, I had nightmares with this demon. When I went to see the movie, I even raised my feet from the ground in the scene where the ravener should have been because I was bracing myself for a good scare. It was very anticlimactic.
And what happened to Raphael? We saw the vampires, but we didn’t get to meet his leader, Raphael. I imagine that this character must be included in the next movie because I believe it is relevant to the plot. In my opinion, Raphael’s story is one of the most interesting in the books. And even though I had issues with his decision-making abilities as the leader of the vampires in City of Glass, it is also true that, up to that point, I enjoyed reading about him every time.
What I didn’t like
Basically the same thing I didn’t like about the books. The Harry Potter references (*coughcopycatcough*). Well, we already knew that this series started as a Harry Potter fanfiction, and, of course, it has many similarities, but, honestly, couldn’t they create an Institute that didn’t look quite so much like Hogwarts? It wouldn’t surprise me at all to learn that the infirmary set in City of Bones is actually the same set they used in the Harry Potter movies.
In conclusion, this movie was everything I expected and more. I can’t wait for the following movies. I hope I don’t have to wait too long.