*My review was edited slightly after seeing the movie for the second time, the initial excitement from the screening has set in*
Let's face it, it is impossible to fit 300 + pages into a 2 hour movie (yes fans, you read that right. This movie is 2 hours + of Shadowhunter goodness). Now I get some fans are nervous when their beloved book hits theaters, because there have been books that when turned to movies (which I will not name) have literally had their entire story line, and characters changed that it has ruined the entire movie. I had that same concern with this movie. There are few things that made me cringe when changed, Valentine would never wear dreadlocks, and the portal in the Institute ruined leading up to the next book. Aside from a few other minor things, like not writing in all the humor that fans have loved from Cassie's books, this movie made me fall in love with this world all over again, because of the acting.
The acting in this movie was suburb! I felt like that this ENTIRE cast of actors literally pulled my favorite characters from the book and brought them to life. In doing so, each actor gave me characters who became relatable, and real. As you all know, I wasn't the biggest fan of Jamie when he was first cast. I read City of Bones when it first came out (more than a few years ago), and had always pictured Alex Pettyfer as Jace. Can I just say, I AM SO GLAD JAMIE was cast as JACE!! Because, JAMIE REALLY IS JACE! Everything this guy did in the movie screamed Jace. From his mannerisms, to his actions, and those oh so perfect lines we've all come to love of Jace's. Had anyone other than Jamie been cast, this movie in my option would not be what I feel it is. Even though this story line follows that of Clary, it's Jace who really made a huge part of the movie.
Can I just say, not only from a mom point of view, but from the point of view from being a women/girl that I love that Cassie wrote girls who can kick butt, they stay true to their morals, and they don't wavier in who they are. Harald not only kept that aspect of Lily and Izzy's characters, he magnified them and Jocelyn. I already had a hunch at how fabulous Lily and Izzy would be, but man alive, Jocelyn completely blew me away. I love what I saw of Jocelyn in this movie. Lena took Jocelyn to a whole new level for me. I loved her whole fierce shadowhunter/mama bear side that comes out. I'm telling you guys, she's not the only one. Jemima is Izzy! That girl doesn't only embrace kicking butt, she can be feminine and beautiful too. Lily Collins was fabulous as Clary. Her strong convention in herself, her vulnerability,and her strength shined through brilliantly on screen. I think a lot of girls will see a little bit of themselves in her. The onscreen chemistry Lily and Jamie have is seriously perfection!
Aw Simon! Okay, let me be honest. I wanted to slap Simon so many times when I read City of Bones (which I've read more times than I'll admit on here). Robert Sheehan made me fall totally in love with Simon. I know, shocking, since I don't fall in love with book Simon until City of Ashes. What Jamie did with Jace, Robert does with Simon. He makes him vulnerable, he makes him strong, he makes him real and he makes me emotionally feel for him, even when I don't think I would or at times want to. Some of my favorite Simon scenes were the ones between he and Jace. Their one liners and banter was down right awesome. Also like Jamie and Lily, Robert and Lily have an onscreen chemistry that is just as fabulous!
This entire cast rocked! Godfrey was fabulous as Magnus. I can not wait to see him more of him in City of Ashes. Kevin was the best Alec. Can I just say, some of the best acting doesn't need to have lines in it. Kevin brought Alec to life not just through what he says in the movie, but by his body language and his facial expressions. He rocked as Alec. Aidan Turner is so Luke! I seriously love the adult love story in this book,and I felt it played out perfectly on screen, because of what Aidan and Lena give their characters. I just hope we see so much more of them in City of Ashes.
Another actor who made me feel for him, was Jared Harris's portrayal of Hodge. He made me feel bad for him, when I seriously never felt bad for him before. I know that sounds bad, but once Hodge does what he does in the book, I couldn't look at him in the same light. Movie wise, Jared made me feel for Hodge, and understand the course of actions he takes. Let's talk about the circle. I loved the brief back story of the Circle that was kept in the film. Though I wanted more of it, I loved what they gave me. Hello evil..... Jonathan Rhys Meyers was the most intense actor of the group. When I say intense, I mean despite the fact Valentine would not wear dreadlocks, and in the movie he does, I looked right past that and couldn't look away from on screen Valentine. He really brought the scary side, as well as the persuasive side, and this side that makes you see how just how easy it was for Jocelyn in the beginning to fall for him.
I could go on and on and on, about my love for the cast in this movie, but this review would be way too long. Let me say that this is a movie that is for both teens, adults, guys and girls alike. It's got girl power, and butt kicking guys. It has emotion, and fight scenes, and AWESOME effects. Thank you Harald for not giving this movie cheesy graphics and for having fight scenes that were literally acted out by the actors themselves. It made for some incredible stunt work. Kudos to Harald to giving us a movie that had strong heroines, great action scenes and sweet graphics! Go see this movie! It's really good. I'm curious to know what my other TMI fandom friends think of it.