We recently watched a documentary called Best Worst Movie. It’s an appreciation of Troll 2, the movie that has been rated the worst film ever made. Fans arrange screenings across America with a lot of them being sold out. The documentary takes a look at the large following of Troll 2 and the rise in popularity of this now cult film.
Last week we went to the premiere of City of Bones, and let me start off by saying I have never watched Troll 2, but this is definitely my personal Best Worst Movie. Just a warning, this post will be riddled with spoilers, so avoid reading any further if you are still planning to watch the movie. If you aren’t, you won’t miss out on too much, it feels as if we’ve all seen this story before.
A young girl, Clary, finds out she is the chosen one, after being kept in the dark about who she really is, she is then also told that she possesses superpowers. Her mother, who never told her about her destiny, is kidnapped. Clary then teams up with a trio of broody, emo Shadowhunters – half-mortal, half-angel warriors who protect the world from demons. Simon, Clary’s nerdy friend who is secretly in love with her, tags along for the ride. This, of course is the set up of the cliched love triangle between the girl, her best friend and the dark, hunky, newcomer.
The Shadowhunters, who are shrouded by invisibility (seemingly at will), introduce Clary and Simon to Downworld. An alternate NY inhabited by vampires, werewolves, warlocks and other fantastical creatures smart enough to make a treaty with the only three Shadowhunters active in the city. We’re assured by the lady Shadowhunter that zombies don’t exist though. The Shadowhunters draw doodles on themselves using LED-powered crystals, giving them superpowers. In the end it looks like silly tribal inspired tattoos inked in permanent marker.
The characters are extremely underdeveloped battling throughout with strained dialogue and contrived situations. I couldn’t even remember most of their names, but described them by the things they did or what they were wearing. The whole movie would’ve benefited from paying more attention to backstory and setting the scene.
It seems that Baroque composer Bach was a doodle-wearing Shadowhunter himself, creating melodies that conveniently reveal demons that are masquerading as humans. Following a lead, the group visit a character that the demons have incredible foresight in order to possess. Despite the piano test the demon blindsides and almost defeats them. Once the demon is killed, the host body dies and no reference is made to what happens to the formerly-possessed. What? Why!
Then there is the incest sub-plot, which is weird but nobody seems too bothered by it. One of the characters is so deep in the closet that once he is confronted with the question his reaction is positively homicidal.
Now lets move on to the aesthetics of the movie. The CGI were actually pretty good, but I think they need to take a closer look at their wardrobe choices. Jace’s 1980s romance-novel-cover inspired fashion choices were downright strange. I know this is petty, but I’m not the only person who is distracted by the caterpillars above Lily Collins’ eyes. Are there no supernatural salons in the Downworld?
The casting remains impressive, though I can’t help but feel cheated that they weren’t used to their full potential. Have you seen what Robert Sheehan brought to The Misfits? Why was Jarred Harris so pathetic? No man. This is probably made clearer in the book, but the movie is called City of Bones, a sacred location that Clary visits for two minutes before fainting and then we never hear of it again. Um..?
Lastly, the sacred Mortal Cup. It’s the McGuffin that the Shadowhunters have to find in order to save Clary’s mom. Clary also draws a Mortal Cup rune repeatedly during the first 20 minutes – this is the very thing she is supposed to forget but it is implanted in her memory to remind her mother that it is time to have her memory erased again. Confused yet? Well it gets better because the rune looks like ovaries. Well, they’re magic ovaries because just being able to see this invisible rune on some nightclub signage magically gets her admittance, despite being obviously underaged.
Despite all of this, I’m really curious what happened in the book version and also what will happen next! The movie was clearly heavily influenced by other young adult movies, but sadly it lost its own story amidst this. If you can’t decide what to watch anytime soon, get a group of friends together and enjoy a good laugh!
Unsurprisingly, the sequel has been put on hold for now.