Film Face-off: 'The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones' vs. 'Twilight'

Film Face-off: 'The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones' vs. 'Twilight'

Aug 26, 2013

Whatever word, title or phrase brought you to this article, welcome. When discussing The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones and Twilight, we will not be talking about the novels. Nor will we be talking about film sequels. We will especially not be getting into the fandom of either of these worlds. I've tangled with the Twihards enough.

For this week's Film Face-off we will simply be focusing on the look of the film, the powers the people possess and most importantly, the love angle. Notice I didn't say love triangle? A love triangle would mean that everyone is trying to sleep with everyone, at every corner of the triangle. Besides some fan fiction, Edward and Jacob have never hooked up. A love angle means that two individuals like the same person.

Oh, I think I forgot to mention, the winner of this article is allowed to continue to exist and the other must be banished from the land for the rest of eternity.


The Powers


Bella (Kristen Stewart) smells but that's not a power. Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) is strong, fast, and can read minds. He lives with a bunch of vampires and all of them are stronger and faster than humans, with Emmett Cullen (Kellan Lutz) being the strongest. Alice Cullen (Ashley Greene) can see the future. James Witherdale (Cam Gigandet) is a vampire who's a great tracker.

The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones

There are warlocks, shadowhunters, vampires, demons and werewolves, but not, I repeat NOT zombies. Shadowhunters seems to have the best weapons. Jace Wayland (Jamie Campbell Bower) is a shadowhunter who has swords, knives and a magic wand. The wand can do a variety of things like making bookshelves see-through, or hypnotize people. Another shadowhunter has Indiana's Jones whip. Tattoos work like spells... I think. There's also a magic portal.

Winner: Twilight. If you're wondering why I didn't include Jacob (Taylor Lautner) the werewolf, he and his family don't really come into play until the sequels. With Twilight I remember thinking it was a little funny that being a vampire wasn't enough. Some of them like Edward and Alice had extra-special powers. You see, back in my day sucking blood and living forever was all the powers that were needed. "A little funny" becomes "over the top insane" with Mortal. I have no clue the complete list of powers everyone has. Our main character Clary Fray (Lily Collins) is referred to as a mundane (human) but constantly proves she has more going on. At one point, vampires are allowed to hang out in clubs, but I guess it's also not a big deal to kill them all. It's a complete mishmash of things. At least there are powers in Twilight that make character connections more intriguing. With Mortal it's like they made a big list and randomly passed them out.


The Special Effects


The special effects are limited to vampires running fast, climbing tress fast, playing a very big game of baseball, and glitter. Some characters have weird eyes.

The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones

The special effects are utilized when birds become demons, when a dog becomes a demon, Jace killing demons, the portal, and werewolves attacking vampires. Some characters have weird eyes.

Winner: The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones. One of my biggest complaints with Twilight is when Edward runs with ease while carrying Bella. I don't mind him being strong enough, it's the look of the world flying past them and his running motion. There's nothing cool about it, nor does it look fluid. I have the same problem with the baseball game, which should have been a lot of fun. Mortal walks the walk of a fantasy, even if it can't talk the talk. The bird demons look good, especially when a group of them are frozen. The budget is the best explanation for this with Twilight at $37 million and The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones reportedly at $60 million. Plus director Catherine Hardwicke wasn't known for her ability to play with action sequences, and Harald Zwart proved capable with the remake of The Karate Kid.


The Love Angle


With Jacob seemingly being a little young (and not yet super buff) it's Bella's classmates who are trying to woo her, specifically Mike Newton (Michael Welch). Edward plays hard to get, but he's drawn to her as well.

The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones

Jace is very obviously into Clary. Clary has been best friends with Simon (Robert Sheehan) forever, and she doesn't realize that he has feelings for her. No one else is officially interested at this time.

Winner: Twilight. At this point with Mortal it seems Jace is Edward, and Simon is Jacob, though there is a wrinkle we'll get to in a little bit. While we all knew that Bella couldn't end up with one of the normal teenagers, there was still some playful humor at their expense. It comes down to the fact that they don't glitter in the sunlight. That and the fact that Edward will do everything in his power not to take Bella's virginity away... oh, I mean Edward won't turn her into a vampire. Yeah, that's what this is all about. Most importantly, the concept of incest wasn't used in Twilight. Yes, that's right. There's plenty of time spent wondering who is related to whom. Call me crazy, but incest just isn't very sexy. As far as the women go, Bella and Clary both need a lot of protecting, but Stewart holds onto teenage angst much better Collins.


OVERALL WINNER: Twilight beats The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, 2-1.

I've never loved a Twilight film, but I've never hated one either. Right off the bat, I can't stand The Mortal Instruments franchise. It's a mess that couldn't even make good use of character actors like Kevin Durand, Jared Harris, Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Lena Headey. I normally don't hope that a franchise fails. Even with The Golden Compass it seemed like they were heading in a better direction. Clary spends almost the entire film asking questions (a terrible thing for a lead to do) and the exposition that follows rarely provides insight. Why have a city of bones as a portal if you're not really going to do anything with them? Twilight had the power to focus on the feelings some teenagers have within the context of a fantasy world. Mortal doesn't get close, and therefore is banished... hopefully.

Categories: Features, In Theaters
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