The Mortal Instruments: A Dualistic Story of the Supernatural Without God

Action horror. Hot girl realizes she’s both Harry Potter and Luke Skywalker in a Twilight World of battling werewolves and vampires. (In this movie, zombies “don’t exist,” so right off the bat you know it is an inferior horror film)

The movie starts out rather well with a very cool sequence of Clary, a young artist high schooler I think, learning that she has a secret identity she is not aware of. Her mom is hiding her true identity to her, she can see demonic and angelic things others cannot, and demons in the form of earthly creatures are after her.

As soon as the mythical background starts to be explained, everything becomes very jumbled and hard to follow. She eventually learns she is a “child of the Nephilim.” Though this is never really explained except I think it occurs when someone drank from a chalice cup that an angel Raziel offered at the Crusades. Didn’t make much sense to me.

So this is why she can see the spirit world, because she is half-human, half-angel. It’s a Nephilim story! And all the demons, vampires and other monsters want to find that magic cup that Clary’s mother has hidden, while Clary has the location embedded in her memory somewhere. Although I couldn’t remember why drinking from the cup was so wanted by the villains. I think it was because that would make them half-angel? Oh, I don’t remember, it was just kinda dumb.

So, normal humans are called “Mundanes” because they can’t see the spirit world (The American word for “Muggles” – Give her a break, you gotta call them something and it’s gotta reflect the fact that they are blind to one half of reality). Vampires and werewolves are called “downworlders” because they inhabit the world down here. And the good guys are “Shadow Hunters,” which are Nephilim who kill demons. If you know anything about the Biblical Nephilim, none of this makes any sense. But if you want to follow a cool Biblical fantasy tale about the Nephilim, check out this cool series. Meanwhile, Clary realizes she has the ability to tattoo runes on herself that bring powerful enchantments to stop demons and other stuff.

So the worldview in this story seems to downplay angels to almost non-existent. Sure, the evil arch-villain Raziel was an angel, but the heroine’s helper ally, the shadow hunter Jace, a scrawny effeminate kid who is somehow able to topple big bad bulky muscular guys, explains that “he’s never seen an angel.” So, I’m sure they are there in the series, but not in this movie. But when they retrieve weapons from a church, Clary asks about the religious reality behind their battle. Jace explains that they “know no religion,” and they could just as well hide their weapons in a mosque or a buddhist temple or Hindu temple. He then says he doesn’t believe in religion, he “believes in himself.” Then when Clary learns about the history of the evil angel Raziel, she is told by a master shadow hunter that they are engaged in a battle of good and evil, “a war that can never be won.” In other words, the world is a Dualistic eternal battle between opposing good and evil that are pretty much equal and always in conflict – hey, just like Star Wars! Just like Eastern Dualism! And then she realizes whose daughter she is and you go, “Hey, just like Star Wars!” Okay, sorry I spoiled it for you. You won’t miss anything cause it’s all rather vapid.

No reference whatsoever to God occurs in this story of supernatural demons and AWOL angels. It’s another riduculous attempt to hijack the mythos of Judeo-Christianity and to exorcise the most essential element, God, while keeping the corpse of the imagery and trying to resurrect it with occultic spells and magic. BTW, I have no problem with having occultic elements in the story per se, but the context determines their meaning and in this world, there is some abstract impersonal force that is actually quite boring because it has no personality and no metaphysical sense to it.

Okay, there is one tiny waaaaay ambiguous cool reference to God when we discover that the musical genius Bach was a shadow hunter and playing his music uncovers demons because it makes them go mad and they reveal themselves. Bach was a Christian who wrote music to God’s glory, so that could have been meaningful in its proper context.

One cool statement at the ending sums up the reality of spiritual awareness. Clary is sad and scared that “I don’t see the world the same. I see demons and angels.” To which Jace responds, “The world is the same. You’re just different.” That does sum up the reality of spiritual enlightenment, even if it comes in the context of a contradictory dualistic worldview.

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