In the immortal words of Dr. Dre, “Bitches ain’t shit but hoes and tricks.” And yet, every goddamn time I turn around, there’s another motherfucking paranormal teen romance filling the screens and sucking the will to live right out of me. Seriously. I haven’t been this disappointed in life since the Twat Waffle Incident of 2010… Don’t ask. So tap a keg, tap some ass and read on, dear Boozers, as I descend into the depths of cinematic hell for y’all.
Mortal Instruments: City of Bones follows Clary Fray as she goes from hipster-in-the-making to badass-Buffy-to-be as she gets caught up in a supernatural civil war, the likes of which will test her strength of will, love of family and so much more. Powerful beyond her wildest dreams, Clary’s the “It” bitch and everyone wants a taste. Will Clary defeat an evil closer to her than she ever imagined? Will she find the answers to questions she never knew to ask? Will I be able to stop vomiting teen angst long enough to finish writing this review? Pull up a chair and hand me a bucket. Shit’s about to get real, real chunky.
Mortal Instruments was the ultimate bait-and-switch film. Just when I thought it was going to defy the overwhelmingly smarmy odds that teen franchise films routinely take a nosedive into (undying love, deathless angst, etc.) it pulled out a KO and knocked me on my ass with them. So I have to give City of Bones its due. It fooled the fuck out of me for the first half of the movie before dropping its steaming hot load of crap directitty onto my chest. Well played, Instruments, well played.
In the interest of fairness, the movie actually had a few decent things going for it. The scenery was visually striking and used well to establish tone and nuance beyond even what I could have expected. Also, shout-out to Lily Collin’s eyebrows for a stellar performance; they added depth of character and twitched at all the right times, round of applause for those auburn beauties. In addition to that, the film translated surprisingly well from page to screen. Some of the rougher plot and character edges were smoothed over and made refreshingly relatable.
Sweet. Motherfucking. Baby Jesus. If there was a cliché that wasn’t used in this movie, I’m pretty sure it hasn’t been invented yet. Mortal Instruments was the worst kind of teen romance franchise film because IT GAVE YOU HOPE. The first half of City of Bones was fairly well done as origin stories go. It had decent pacing and reveals… Then it descended into a hell of cheesy dialogue, lingering glances, and smoldering, smokey-eyed stares. Every other minute I was looking around the theater, half-expecting Smoky The Bear to pop up and say “Only YOU can prevent teen melodrama.” (and then bitch-slap me for buying a ticket to this shitshow of feelings and fuckwittery).
By the end of the movie, it got so bad I was audibly groaning every time they dropped another lurrrve bomb, not to mention rhythmically slapping myself on the forehead. A few tips if you get dragged to City of Bones: Firstly, never talk to that asshat again. Secondly, NEVER TALK TO THAT ASSHAT AGAIN.
To piggy back on Beer Two, the dialogue in this cinematic anal-bleach of an atrocity was eye-rollingly bad. I’m pretty sure I sprained a cornea two-thirds of the way in. I got a special kind of white-girl-wasted afterward in the hopes I’d Memento this shit right out of my cabeza. It worked so well I only remember one sparkling, shiny gem to gift y’all with: “It doesn’t feel real… Not in my heart.”
This film, to its credit again, was better than any Twilight movie ever made… But that’s like saying cold sores are your favorite kind of herpes. And that leads us into Beer Four. Drunk yet? You should be.
I’ve seen movies with far worse dialogue and stereotypes pull a rabbit out of their ass (embrace that visual for a minute) and succeed on strength of character alone. Sadly, Collin’s eyebrows couldn’t pull out (that’s what she said- had to be done) a “W” for Team Mortal Instruments on this one. I highly doubt even the majestically magical Mary Poppins could’ve pulled a win out of her supernatural snatch for this shitbrick.
The anemic plot and anorexic dialogue sunk this batteshit and sunk it good. The characters were two-dimensional at best and shallow stereotypes at worst, falling in luuuurve because that’s what needed to happen. There was a gang-bang of love triangles going on the entire time and I couldn’t even muster up the ghost of a shit to give (because there was little to no depth or foundation TO those relationships). I had a deeper emotional connection with the frosted mini-wheats I had for breakfast this morning.
Generic, boring, and forgettable… Oh my! It’s the Trite Trifecta rearing its ugly head again. Somehow Mortal Instruments managed to cherry-pick from teen sagas both past and present and STILL came out bland and destined for irrelevancy. It could be that the target audience has been wildly over-saturated with this genre the past few years, or it could be that this movie just plain blows (and not in the fun way).
Ultimately, Mortal Instracunts: City of Boners was like having sex with an emotionally retarded garden gnome… Awkward. Uncomfortable. Don’t tell ANYONE it happened. Seriously.
Bonus Drinking Game
Take a Drink: every time you see/hear angelic sigils mentioned and/or drawn.
Take a Drink: each time somebody’s eyes get supernaturally funky.
Take a Shot: for every door that gets an extreme home makeover.
Take a Drink: Anytime bitches get snatched like Pringles.
Take a Sip: every time you hear a line dripping with enough angst to choke a pony (if you really hated that pony).
Take a Shot: for every love triangle.
Shotgun a Beer: In homage to the Hitchcock Finale Bonanza.