I am surprised at how unmemorable this film was. I saw it on last Sunday (first cinema visit in Norway, woop-woop!) and I am having a hard time remembering what happened. I finished the book (and loved the book) a few days before seeing the film so my “that’s not what really happened”-rage was and is intense.
And man, I was a bit impressed how far a film adaption can go from a book. Rushing ahead of myself, let’s just say that it felt like the writers had given up entirely by the end and decided to mix in every clichéd film stunt known to man and only leave dust of the source material.
The stronger aspects in City of Bones are the graphics and acting. The graphics felt organic and overall, quite impressive. The greenhouse scene was lovely and definitely exceeded my expectations, feeling surprisingly natural1 – even more so than in the book, actually. Moreover, the actors were great there. Acting was at least decent at most times, sometimes even great and even though most actors’ casting clashed with my vision of them, they made it work. It was disturbing that their basic characteristics were altered (I immediately think of Isabelle here) but I got the vibe that the actors only got to work with what little they had and succeeded at that.
I would not say seeing this film is necessarily a bad plan but the film undeniably has its flaws and you should consider that before. You know these films that technically have everything they should but don’t have that something? Well, City of Bones lacks nearly everything else, but has that something that gives it allure. And if you are a 14-year-old guy, then at one point not so far in you will utter “well, now I’m starting to like this film.”2
1 It was also amusing how every important Jace-to-Clary quote was in the film in full form and executed perfectly.
2Psst! there’s some badass girl fighting included. You’re welcome.