The Diva's review of
Director: Harald Zwart
Written by: Jessica Postigo Paquette, based on the novel by Cassandra Clare
Cast: Lily Collins, Jamie Campbell Bower, Robert Sheehan, Kevin Zegers, Jemima West, Godfrey Gao, Lena Headey, Jared Harris, Jonathan Rhys Meyers
Rating: PG-13 (Violence, Sexual Content)
Release Date: 8/21/2013
WARNING - SPOILERS BELOW.
New York. Poor New York. If it's not Godzilla, Cloverfield, Greek Gods and Monsters; it's Angels, and apparently Demons.
Such is the life of a New Yorker. Well special New Yorkers, anyway. You and I can't see them, but someone like Clary (Lily Collins), a teenager who just happens to be half-angel, can see them clear as day. One problem though, she had no idea that she had this ability so she is a little freaked out when she sees 3 strange looking people kill another young man right before her very eyes, but no one else can see it.
Her bestie, Simon (Robert Sheehan) can't see a thing, he thinks she's acting weird and crazy, but he has her back. The fact that she can see the murder brings her to the attention of the murders. By default she is one of them. "THEM" being "Shadowhunters" the name bestowed upon those who, like her, are part angel and they walk the earth fighting to keep the good and evil forces in balance. Not to be confused with a "Mundane" this is the name for normal folks like you and me who can’t see the creatures. Mainly by taking out any Demon or Vampire they come across who is not following the laws and treaties that have been set forth by the Head People In Charge.
It's not enough that she is seeing Demons. Clary keeps drawing the same shape over and over again and has no idea why. And during the course of discovery, she gets a distress call from he mother and arrives home to find her apartment trashed, her mother gone and a demon dog, hot on her butt.
In the nick of time Hottie Jace (Jamie Campbell Bower) came in and saves the day. The heat between Clary and Jace is clear. But as much they are digging on each other, there is a greater purpose at hand. Valentine (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) a shadowhunter who has gone power crazy is determined to unleash the entire demon population so he can control them and Rule. The. World! Valentine needs Clary for a special ability she has. Of course she doesn't know that she has that ability, so she doesn't even know she is being hunted. She is too busy trying to find her mother.
With Jace and the two other hunters, Alec (Kevin Zegers) and Isabelle (Jemima West) to help her, she plows ahead with abandon looking for her mom. No matter the cost to her and her team. Oh yeah there are werewolves too.
My 10 year old loves these books. Because I like to keep tabs on what she is reading, I, too have read the books and have found them mildly enjoyable. I'm not the target audience so I find myself occasionally rolling my eyes. That said, these books are far better written than the Twilight series. BOOM! Yeah, I said it.
In fact not only do I appreciate this mythology more than Twilight, I also think this was a better movie. Don't get it twisted, I'm not declaring this to be a great movie. Hunger Games is in this same genre and far better. But it was watchable. They strayed away from the book a bit, but I think they had to do that mainly because given its total box office, I'm not sure there will be a sequel despite it already being greenlit. Maybe they are counting on DVD sales. At the time of this writing, the movie has made 32 million on a budget of 60 million. With that kind of budget, clearly they thought they had a 100 million dollar box office. oops. If they go ahead with number two (haha) I think they need to do some retooling and recasting. Spend less of that money on CGI and more of it on some acting chops.
I think fans of the book won't be too disappointed. But this movie needs non-fans to get interested enough to see it and sadly the audience just isn't there. The matinee costs $6.50 here that's all I'm willing to spend on this under normal circumstances. But my daughter just HAD to see it, so I went ahead and bought IMAX tickets. Don't be that kind of an idiot.
Nearly sustains a mortal wound.