CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Based on the novel by Cassandra Clare (the first in a series), "The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones" is an action-packed yet romantic movie. It's quite suspenseful and will keep you on the edge of your seat, awaiting what happens next.
In it, when Clary Fray (Lily Collins, "Mirror Mirror") starts to see the Angelic Power rune everywhere she turns, she begins to freak out a bit, especially after witnessing a murder that no one else seemed to see. She notices a man named Jace Wayland (Jamie Campbell Bower, the "Twilight" saga) following her around, and her suspicion grows.
When Clary's mother (Lena Headey, "Game of Thrones") is mysteriously kidnapped, Clary's world turns upside down. She learns that the world isn't what it seems and that all the supernatural horror stories she's been told are actually true.
She learns Jace, as well as herself, is a Shadowhunter, someone who fights and kills demons. They learn her mother had stolen the Mortal Cup, which strengthens Shadowhunters, from Valentine Morgenstern (Jonathan Rhys Meyers, "August Rush"), a Shadowhunter gone bad. Not only do they have to find her mother, but they also have to find the Mortal Cup.
Throughout their journey, Clary's friend, Simon Lewis (Robert Sheehan, "Cherrybomb"), gets in trouble because of Clary. This leads to a battle against vampires that ends when dawn breaks and the sun fills the sky. Simon's love for Clary becomes more evident as he starts to truly despise Jace.
When Clary and Jace develop feelings for one another, things get a bit more complicated with Simon. After Clary and Jace's first kiss, fights break out among the three. The only thing to bring them together again is fighting caused by the supernatural beings in the Downworld.
To figure out how to find her mother, Clary goes to see the Shadowhunters' leader, Hodge Starkweather (Jared Harris, "Mad Men") at a place called the Institute. There, she discovers many lies and betrayals.
"City of Bones" is a beautifully eerie film, full of striking cinematography and music as well as a wonderful story and cast. It will probably hold your attention long after the closing credits, leaving you anxious for the next film ("City of Ashes") and hopeful that everything will work out for the characters.
It's a long film, with a running time of 130 minutes, but there is so much to cover that the time goes by very fast. And even with everything that's in there, the film still left out some things from the book.
One that bothered me was the introduction of Jace's motorcycle. In the book, you find out he stole it when they're leaving the vampires. In the movie, there's no explanation; he just comes riding in on a random bike.
The characters felt a little different, too, and they were nothing like I had imagined when reading the books. For instance, Clary is a bit more emotional, which makes her seem weaker than the character actually is. Also, the actors are mostly British, and even though the story takes place in Manhattan, they kept their British accents, which shouldn't be as heavy as they are.Though there are a lot of changes, the film is still great. It really brings the book's imagery to life. As someone who has a connection with the book, I have to say it is a bit better than the movie, but the movie is still impressive. Both fans of the book and those who haven't read it will enjoy this film.