The Mortal Instruments: City Of Bones (12A)



Action (2013)
130mins US/Ger

Starring: Robert Sheehan, Kevin Zegers, Lena Headey, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Lily Collins, Jamie Campbell Bower, Jemima West
Director: Harald Zwart
Writer(s): Jessica Postigo
Listings: London | Rest of UK and Ireland

Plucky 15-year-old Clary Fray is at one of New York's nightclubs with good friend Simon Lewis when she witnesses a murder. She learns that the killer, Jace Wayland, who is invisible to Simon, is a Shadowhunter - a slayer of demons which inhabit the human world. Clary also discovers that she is connected to this magical world hidden from human eyes and Clary journeys with Jace to an old Gothic cathedral called The Institute where she meets monster-slaying mentor Hodge Starkweather and Shadowhunter siblings Alec and Isabelle.

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LondonNet Film Review
The Mortal Instruments: City Of Bones

With the final screen instalments of Harry Potter and the Twilight film series done and dusted, The Mortal Instruments film franchise comes at the perfect time for fantasy film fans....

Like the two famous film series before it, The Mortal Instruments is about an ordinary teenager who discovers they're not so ordinary after all. In this case, it's 15-year-old New Yorker Clary (Lily Collins) who discovers that she is from a family of Shadowhunters, who are half-angel warriors locked in a battle to protect the world from demons. But with her mum missing, Clary and 'mundane' (human) best pal Simon (Misfits star Robert Sheehan) have no time to ruminate on her new lineage and instead must join forces with some other Shadowhunters, including Jace (Jamie Campbell Bower) to find her dear old mum. Downworld, the alternate New York where the Shadowhunters live, proves to be an unsafe place to hang and the makeshift gang soon find their lives are in danger and as an added kick in the teeth, are no closer to finding Lily's mum.

With so much at stake, there should be a lot of drama here but instead at just over two hours long, The Mortal Instruments: City Of Bones limps on, ticking off movie cliches along the way. While there are a few moments of intentional humour to liven up proceedings, there are also plenty of corkers mainly from Jonathan Rhys Myers who plays good-man-gone-bad Valentine. At one point Valentine tells Jace the damning news that he is his father. To illustrate this, he turns Jace's ring which is shaped as the initial 'W' to represent his supposed surname Wayland, upside down so it looks like an 'M' standing for Morgenstern, his actual last name. "Appearances can be deceptive," Myers simpers. Myers might overact but the three leading actors do a good job with the sometimes cheesy script and will doubtless keep their fans hooked with their more subtle performances. Which is lucky really given that with another five books in the series this lot will be around for a good while yet.

- Kim Hu


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