By the end of this film, the entire audience in the theater felt a bond like no other.
There were nerds, jocks, dates, fans of the books and grandmothers with daughters. It didn’t matter who we were or what cliques we belonged to. We felt united by the time the credits rolled.
“The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones” is so bad and so terrible that it was no longer just a mere movie. It was an experience.
For those who have not read the book — I’m not sure if it matters if you have, anyway — the film is about Clary (Lily Collins, “Mirror Mirror”), a teenage girl who finds herself in the world of the Shadowhunters: humans with magical powers who fight off demons and protect the world of the “mundanes,” which essentially means “muggles.” Her mother was apparently protecting an ancient artifact, the Mortal Cup, which gives the Hunters their powers. The many powers that be strive to use the Cup for their own purposes, leading to many chases and battles.
To begin with, the actors don’t even try. With few exceptions, there’s little to no emotion in any of the performances. Actors flatly deliver their lines and make it hard to care about their conflicts, because, well, they don’t care themselves.
The visuals look like they could have been designed in the late ‘90s. This movie might have looked good back in 1999, but the effects (and there are a lot in this film) are extremely dated. In addition, the art direction is unintentionally silly at times, creating an inconsistent tone.
And to boot, the story gets too tangled and complicated for its own good. Too many characters have too many motives. Love triangles devolve into love dodecahedrons, and even then, the relationships take too long to develop for anyone to care. The villains’ motives are illogical. And of course, around 75 percent of the lines in this movie can be seen coming from twenty miles away.
But for all those flaws, there’s just something endearing about this film. This film crosses the line into “bad” territory, but it goes the extra mile. It puts in the time and effort and makes sure to dive deeper and go where almost no movie has gone before. I can’t spoil the plot twists, because they’re too funny. The audience was in tears by the end — not from sadness, but from sheer laughter.
So regardless of quality, “Mortal Instruments” comes highly recommended. It masters the art of unintended hilarity. It’s incredible how deep this movie plunges. It may end up being our generation’s “Plan Nine from Outer Space,” and for that reason, it must be seen.