So what happens when you grow up as a normal teenager and suddenly one night you start drawing symbols all over the wall? Well you get pretty freaked out… and who do you turn to? Your mum of course, but she’s keeping secrets from you and suddenly disappears. Things really aren’t going to well are they? Its tough being a teenager, its even tougher being a Shadowhunter teenager as Clary Fray (Lily Collins) finds out…
Based on Cassandra Clare’s bestselling novel, The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones looks like the successor to all the Twilight and Hunger Games books that have started to send screaming fans into a frenzy. This big budget Hollywood film has a predominately British led which is refreshing, and although it opened here yesterday with the help of the cast and director stepping through a major global promotional tour, its currently slightly underperforming over in the US.
However we shouldn’t take that too literally because despite the doom and gloom that some are saying about this film, its really rather enjoyable. You have a strong female protagonist (quite like what audiences related to with Bella Swan in Twilight) and there are lots of laughs and one liners – some more forced towards the end – plus there are demons, ghouls and a whole underworld that is living right under Brooklyn… what’s not to love?!
The film keeps you guessing and is a classic case of a first film in a series where characters are being established and so there are only three main parts, Clary, Jace (Jamie Campbell Bower) and Simon (Rober Sheehan). The rest come and go and one assumes we will see more in the second installment. There is so much going on in this film that you can’t really help but be swept up in it all and despite it feeling ever so slightly over long in form, its not unwatchable, quite the opposite.
What fans of the book may feel is that this film has tried to be so true to the original content that it maybe fits a little bit too much in it, in order to be truthful, and that unfortunately provides more of a clumsy outcome in parts. Others may feel that the casting isn’t quite what they imagined, and in the press conference Jamie Campbell Bower was particularly vocal with his thoughts on the matter saying that some rather nasty social media reactions to his casting “were based on image and image looks alone and that was two and a half years ago, and I think as an actor and as a performer I’m very much aware of the fact that my job is to change both physically and emotionally and that was what hurt the most, that people were judging me based on nothing.”
Although there are clear issues with this film and it won’t please everyone, there are lots of great elements to it, the CGI is out there but not too over the top and the characters are believable, watchable and sympathetic. Mortal Instruments: City of Bones is certainly for the younger audiences out there, but even if you don’t believe in magic or demons, there’s still a rollercoaster ride for you to watch…just remember to not walk out of the cinema when the unforgivable comment about the musician Bach is made, just take a deep breath and carry on. When you watch the film, you’ll know what we mean.