What did I think of this movie? Well, I have some mixed feelings, but mostly I really enjoyed it. The visuals were amazing, and I felt legitimately scared at the appropriate times, just like I did in the book. There were a couple cheesy lines in the movie that were not in the book, but I guess this needed to be more of a teen movie than what I was expecting. Jamie was the perfect Jace, and Lily did great as Clary. Who I think was great, though, was Robert Sheehan as Simon. He WAS Simon. I wasn't expecting the emotion we got from him in this one. He really stole the show, and I'm glad for it. It's always been Jace for me, so I felt like I didn't need to see as much of him, but I've always put Simon to the wayside and this movie made me love him even more than in the books. I was really happy that Jace's wit was able to be translated through the movie. While I don't think the people that haven't read the books really caught onto his wit, people will recognize it more in the second movie. And some of the looks he gave Clary... I seriously melted! I have some issues, which I'll talk about it in the spoilers because I don't want to ruin it for anyone that hasn't seen the movie. Even if you've read the book, but haven't seen the movie, don't read the spoilers because I talk about what they changed and it's better if you're surprised by it.
All in all, I don't think it was the best adaptation it could have been, but as a movie on it's own, I fell in love with these characters and this world all over again! Also, the greenhouse scene: perfection!
The other thing that annoyed me was Hodge. I love the actor; he was phenomenal in the second Sherlock Holmes. It was more about the choices the screenwriter made about the character near the end. In order to get back in the graces of Valentine, he suggested lying to Jace and Clary about being related. The whole point of telling Jace and Clary this was that we weren't sure whether they were related or not (I mean, we were pretty sure they weren't, but you know what I mean). But, now, everyone knows that it's a total lie and it really takes away from the wrongness (and therefore hotness) of their complicated relationship. They also made Hodge go all noble at the end, which is so not him.
They also chose poorly for the entire Hotel Dumort scene. I get needing to shorten it, but they could have still kept the basics. My first problem was that Simon didn't turn into a rat. They gave him the blue drink, and then he just knocked out. He was supposed to be scarred mentally by it with all that magic in his system, but I guess not. The next big problem was that they all went to the hotel. The point is that Jace is the one that wanted to go get Simon for Clary. Both Isabelle and Alec don't care enough about Clary or Simon to want to go into a vampire den to go get him. And then there was no Raphael. That wouldn't be so bad if they didn't keep showing this one guy that could have been Raphael and then he gets mauled by a werewolf. Speaking of the werewolves, I think that scene would have went perfectly if they hadn't panned out to show Luke watching them as they went into the hotel and then disappearing around the corner. You're supposed to have no idea anything will come to help them. And the final straw was when they didn't drive/fly away on the vampire motorcycle, putting the motorcycle at the end instead. Just. No.
I tried to keep myself separate from the book when watching this movie, but there were a few too many things that they changed that not only took away from the story but also important parts of the character development. Don't get me wrong, I still loved it. But I was hoping for something better. I expected complete epicness and I shouldn't have.