It feels likes this movie was in the making forever, right? Some of you who may know and maybe others don’t, but it took a long time for the movie making process to come about for this book. Lily Collins was cast as Clary quite a long time before the ball got rolling for the rest ( I don’t remember the exact time frame but I want to say a good year before anything else. There was a script issue and studio issues. Casting rumors were abundant at this time. It was so great to finally buy that ticket last weekend and see what the moviemakers could do with one of my favorite series.
Lily as Clary was perfect in my eyes. She was close to the visual in my mind and I thought she played the role excellent. I was always comfortable with her in this role so I’m glad I wasn’t disappointed here.
Jace… *sigh* He’s one of my favorite book characters. He’s snarky and cocky, but extremely charming. I admit I was one of those people who felt the movie role was built for Alex Pettyfer. He looked exactly like the part in my mind and he seemed to have the personality to match. I know a lot of people complain about his acting and such, but for me, visually at least, he was Jace. I was disappointed when he wasn’t cast, but at the same time, I’m always excited for unknowns in these huge type roles so I was hoping for that because I really don’t like how Hollywood continues to use recycled young actors/actresses from other series in the same type genre. I like fresh blood! There wasn’t many actors mentioned I agreed with but no one did I want to be Jace least than Jamie Campbell Bower. So yeah, going into this movie I was hugely disappointed with that casting. Did he pull it off? I don’t know. I mean, he did the best he could with what he was given I guess. He didn’t hold the same charm, the few cocky lines fell flat for me, and I’m sorry, the greasy hair was a major distraction. He did kick ass in the action scenes though, I’ll give him that. I didn’t expect my feelings to change because honestly, Jamie isn’t attractive to me at all, and they didn’t change. Sorry if that’s superficial? So on a whole, I think he mostly pulled off the acting with the script he was given, but visually… nope.
Simon was perfection to me. Like seriously, perfect and maybe my favorite of all. He was funny with a few great one-liners but also geeky cute like in the book. And the one scene he was to play emotionally he nailed.
Isabelle was actually pretty great too. She totally kicked-ass and I wasn’t so sure of her before but the actress was a great choice for the role. Her snake bracelet whip was freakin’ awesome!
Alec was a huge disappointment. I mean first of all, he was barely in it and didn’t have many lines. I didn’t get the parabatai feel between him and Jace at all or even get a sibling bond with him and Isabelle. And I still think casting made a huge mistake here. Kevin is way too old for this character, I’m sorry. I’m really sick of actors in their late 20’s being cast to play teens in YA series. And Kevin LOOKS his age. The others can play it off okay but Kevin was just too old.
Magnus was my favorite casting going in. I didn’t mind him in the movie but his role was so very short so we didn’t get a chance to really connect. And rushing his scenes took something away from the character so it’s really hard to figure out if his acting was sub-par or he just didn’t have much to work with.
I’m still not sold on Valentine either. He came off more creepy than terrifyingly powerful. And seriously, WTF was up with his hair? O_o
Luke was great. Clary’s mom was great. Whose left? Oh, Madame Dorothea, the fortune telling witch neighbor! She was pretty fantastic too. I loved her scenes.
The effects were great. I mean, the demons were done well, especially the Ravener that broke into her home in the beginning. Creeepy. Oh and let’s not forget the creepy horror movie little girl you see in one scene. The Silent Brothers looked great and so did the Institute. The werewolves and vampires were surprisingly done well too. They didn’t feel campy and that was something I feared. I was really impressed in this area.
Book to Movie
I purposely avoided a re-read. I didn’t want to go into the movie nit-picking every little detail that was lost with the book so fresh on my brain. It’s been years since I’ve read the book and from what I remember, that did a fairly good job trying to take a large book and condensing it to a 2 hour movie. Are things lost in the translation? You bet. Most of it was the character connections. The chemistry between Clary and Jace being one of them. It wasn’t insta-love but it went so fast it was hard to believe they really had developed such a bond that would cause the heartbreak at the end. The one between Simon and Clary was way stronger in this movie. Hell, if I didn’t read the books I’d probably be Team Simon at this point. My favorite Jace quote was there! I was curious how they would handle the twist at the end and I actually like that they spoiled it. It had to be done, in my opinion.
It can be hard to avoid a bit of a cheese factor. There were a few moments where I laughed at the ridiculousness. The greenhouse scene was one, sadly. The portal was another. Valentine’s men, too, were cringe-worthy. I’m probably forgetting things.
On a whole, I really enjoyed the movie. Is it my favorite book-to-movie? No. But it is still entertaining and gave a solid effort. I wouldn’t mind going to see it again. I’m sad to see it hasn’t done so well at the box office. I know they are still going ahead with the second movie but I’m wondering if that will be it. It’d be nice to see movies made for the first 3 books. It’s a solid place to end and I feel like there will be just too many open questions to end the movies at 2.
Have you see it? Will you see it? What do you guys think? Let me know!