So I went to see The Mortal Instruments Movie yesterday and I thought I'd share my thoughts with you. I PROMISE NO SPOILERS in case you haven't seen it yet. But if you have seen it, let me know what you think!
The Cast -
When I first saw who was cast for this movie, I admit that I was a little disappointed. It's always difficult when you picture characters in your head and the actors chosen to play those characters clash with that image. But in the end, I, more or less, liked the cast that was chosen. I really liked Lily Collins as Clary. I think she does a decent job acting and fulfills the description of Clary pretty well. Robert Sheehan as Simon was pretty perfect too. He was the right amount of geeky and cute, but maybe just a little taller than I thought he would be. Jamie Campbell Bower as Jace is my biggest hang up. I guess he was better suited for the role than I originally thought, but I am still struggling to see him as Jace. I was attracted to Jace in the book and I am not attracted to the Jace in the movie at all. I think that is my problem. On the other hand, Magnus Bane is way more attractive than I pictured him being, but I am totally ok with that eye candy. Godfrey Gao looks good even with makeup, cat eyes, and eccentric clothing. Isabelle, Alec, Hodge, Jocelyn and Valentine were well depicted also. When you dress them up and put them in the right setting, they really did work. So aside from Jace, I have to say I am pretty happy with how the cast turned out.
The Setting -
I love seeing what was in my head come to life on the big screen. And I thought this movie did a good job showing the Shadowhunter world. I can't say I know anything about graphics or movie props but I imagine that the demons would be among the most difficult to make look real. That being said, the graphics/props people did a damn fine job. The werewolves weren't shown that much so I can't comment much in that regard. But maybe this was a strategic decision because the wolves were super corny in the Twilight movies. The rest of the setting - the Institute, The Hotel Dumort, Clary's Apartment, Madame Dorothea's, Luke's Shop, Magnus Bane's - were all well done too. The Institute being particularly impressive. AND DON'T FORGET THE CLOTHES AND WEAPONS. I am compelled to change my wardrobe so that I can look that badass. Seriously. I might have to take some martial arts lessons too so I am not a complete fake. Meanwhile, I imagined the angel swords being more impressive looking, but Isabelle's whip/snake lasso thing was pretty freaking cool.
The Story -
I saved this for last on purpose. So, the movie did not stay THAT true to the book. In the beginning, it's just a few subtle changes - an omission here or there, a different order of events, a different setting - but the differences get more pronounced as the movie progresses. This is most notable with the ending. It was very different than in the book. Not only is the setting different but what happened in the movie was not what happened in the book. Like at all. And one detail in particular that is pretty pivotal to the next book was changed and I am not sure what the directors are thinking. I guess only time will tell. BUT, it is important to note that I probably would not have noticed all of the differences that I did if I did not see it with my friend who had JUST read the book. I read these books over a year ago and I do not remember all of the specifics. AND, I think the directors still captured the big picture (except for that big change at the end). So, I guess how much these plot changes will bother you depends on how much you remember and how much you like your movies to mirror your books.
Overall Impression -
So I liked it. No, I didn't love it. It didn't really elicit a strong emotion, either good or bad. But compared to how badly some books are butchered when turned into movies, I can't really complain. I have to keep reminding myself that these movies are geared toward a teen audience. They are not meant to win oscars. And movies are NEVER as good as the books. Overall, the acting was decent, the cheesiness was kept at a minimum and the story was depicted fairly well. So in the end, I have to say I am satisfied with the turnout. It wasn't perfect but it was enjoyable.