The Immortal Instruments City of Bones Banner

For months, the only glimpse into the film adaptation of ‘The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones’ were a few trailers that looked like a mix between a darker ‘Percy Jackson,’ a broodier ‘Twilight,’ and a poorly written ‘Buffy.’ Earlier this week, studios released a first-look clip of some shadow-hunting action, and it seems they’re out to entice us even more with the sexier side of this young-adult action/drama.

Come for the first reveal of Clary’s entrance to the Institute, stay for the angry rantings of someone likely outside the film’s demographic, which does not appear to be “people who enjoy things that make sense.”

My inability to understand the fevered anticipation of this film, which read to me like an eighth-grade creative-writing exercise, seems inversely proportional to the hype surrounding it, but unless their PR team hires on ‘tweens to cheer in the background of malls and leave excited comments on blogs”, there seem to be genuinely excited fans out there.

The Mortal Instruments City of Bones

On my first watch of this clip and the one before it, I will say I was impressed with the special-effects budget. Disgusting bubbles re-forming into a demon dog and magnificent buildings being revealed behind a magical glamour are all well and good, and everyone loves a good door-locking sequence. (That was only 40% sarcastic.) But when I watched it a second time, I noticed there was a lot that didn’t make sense. And maybe it’s out-of-context and will be explained in the whole film, but it seems like a one-minute clip shouldn’t have so many potential errors.

The Institute looks like a dump.
Clary says it isn’t really a dump; mundanes like Simon just can’t see it. Then it reveals itself. Are we seeing that as Simon’s point of view? (No, because the next shot is from across the street.) Did it just unglamour for all of New York, or just the audience?

Jace stops to watch the doors lock.
I mean, I have OCD like the best of them. Sometimes you gotta make sure doors lock behind you. I guess. Even if they make a five-minute clicking noise. And even if OCD probably isn’t one of that character’s personality traits.

Clary faints immediately inside.
I may be willing to give the benefit of the doubt that there’s magic inside or something that triggered her demon bite to get worse, but girlfriend looked fine 10 seconds ago. At least make fun of your mundane friend Simon through gritted teeth or something.

The awkward dialogue is like burning.
Not an error, per se, and far be it from me to criticize the very sexual banter that’s likely going to fill the box office with hormone-laced dollar bills from ‘tween allowances, but this was just first-draft bad. I need to take a shower.

I can’t decide if I want to see this movie just to do my own version of ‘Mystery Science Theater 3000’ in the audience, or if it’s going to be so bad, it’s not even funny bad. And if you say the fact that I’m even making an ‘MST3K’ reference means I’m about 20 years older than those they’re trying to appeal to, I will beat you over the head with my ‘Harry Potter’ broomstick and stab you with my ‘Mockingjay‘ pin.

‘The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones’ releases on August 21, 2013.