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Drama - YA, Fantasy - Sourcery

The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones (2013)

Duration2h 10m
RatingsUK: 12A, USA: PG-13, Spain: 12 
Source of storyA novel of the same name by Cassandra Clare
DirectorHarald Zwart
Writers/ScriptJessica Postigo
StarringLily Collins, Jamie Campbell Bower, Robert Sheehan, Lena Headey, Jared Harris, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, 
RatingsIMDb: 5.9/10 by 131,821 people.  Rotten Tomatoes: 14% by 125 reviewers. Review2view: 4/10.

Elevator Pitch: I’m going to stick to the basic principles here. In present day New York, out of sight of mortals, Shadowhunders, who are part angels protect the world from demon invasions. They seem to be assisted at times by a pack of werewolves and abetted by the odd vampire. The Shadowhunters have a headquarters in a vast building in the city, hidden from the general public. A young woman, Clary, finds that she is also a Shadowhunter after her mother is attacked by two tattooed men and disappears. Everyone seems to be looking for a “cup” which will give then unlimited power. Clary and a male friend (cousin, lover?) end up fighting with other Shadowhunters against a variety of demons who in the end invade the Shadowhunter’s institute. Can they survive?

Content: There is no sex or nudity, although the female Shadowhunters wear slinky black outfits, and the young male Shadowhunters get their shirts off quite a bit. Nearly the whole film takes place within the Shadowhunter’s institute, which is a building with unlimited granite spaces decorated with all sorts of slightly odd edged weapons. Towards the end of the movie Clary’s dad appears through some sort of a time portal and does not seem to be on their side. The roof of the institute can be cranked open to allow demons to enter.

A View: Being honest, I thought I was going to be interested in this film. It seemed to start off in an unusual way, with people being visible to our heroine but not to anyone else. But once it got going  we had to be constantly given new exposition to let us know why things were happening, so that in the end the turns and twists of the plot became utterly tiresome. It is a film for a younger audience, but to judge from the returns it did not connect with them, or with me either. Even if you liked Harry Potter this is probably not worth a watch.

I have not watched or reviewed any of the Twilight films, which this outing might be attempting to emulate. But other YA films reviewed here include: The Spiderwick Chronicles, The House with a Clock in its Walls, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.

About Victor R Gibson

Author of this site three technical books and two novels


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