Movie Review: The Mortal Instruments

It was my intention to post my first book review today. I’d read the book, taken the time to organize my thoughts, and sat down to write when my kids turned on The Mortal Instruments.

I’m sure you’ve heard of this story, a new YA saga all ready to fill the void left after Breaking Twilight part 5 (or whatever). I’ll admit, I’ve been curious. The reviews I’d read were mostly positive. I thought, at some point, I’d probably pick it up and give it a shot, but I was in no hurry. Perhaps I should have been.

I’ve watched movies before reading their source material several times, and rarely had a problem. The Hunger Games, for example, was such a terrific movie, I was compelled to go out and buy all three books the day after I watched it. The experience was not ruined for me. On the contrary, the novels exceeded my expectations.

Though the same could hold true for The Mortal Instruments, I seriously doubt if I ever know for sure. My vague interest in reading the book is gone. Completely. Was the movie bad? Eh. I don’t know if I’d be that harsh. I can only say it wasn’t good.

This is how it starts:  Girl out of the blue starts seeing things no one else can. One of these things is a creepy dude killing somebody. Creepy dude shows up in various places. Girl’s mother gets kidnapped and creepy dude helps girl. Girl finds out she’s special, and creepy dude is a good guy.

In case you were wondering, my summary is supposed to be very abrupt and disjointed because that’s how this movie came off to me. Everything about it seemed hurried. I was given no real opportunity to get to know Clary before the drama began and, perhaps as a result of this, I failed to connect with her at all.

There was a fair amount of action in this movie, but it was almost random. “Stuff happened” is about the best way I can describe it. I wanted a cohesiveness that wasn’t there. I wanted character consistency. I wanted a building arc that left me so desperate for more that I rushed to buy every book available.

Instead, I found myself annoyed with the characters–Clary especially. Her whole world was ripped apart, her mother may well be dead, and she’s laughing with the creepy dude. If not for the circumstances, their “bonding scene” might have been cute. As it was, I just wanted to ask her, “Couldn’t you at least pretend to be upset?”

The cliffhanger ending was likely meant to stir excitement for the next installment. I was mostly just glad it was over. Someday, when my memory of this movie has faded to oblivion, I may pick up the book. Until then, I’m afraid this franchise has been ruined for me.

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