Or How I Shoe Horned Every Film Cliché into Two Hours.
[Editor’s Note: This review contains major spoilers… Though you can pretty much guess them all in the first act.]
From what I understand The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones was originally a crappy Harry Potter fan fiction written by notable cat lady Cassandra Clare. Fortunately, a few key words were changed here and thus another attempt to wow preteens was born. Much in the same vain as The Host, Twilight and Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters this is a complete load of crap that jams as many clichés into its two hour run time as it can and really makes me reconsider my faith in humanity, because every character in the film is a special kind of stupid.
Enough about such mundane things as plot though, since The Mortal Instruments doesn’t seem to care about that, why should I waste time trying to pick through what essentially three acts of it wandering around trying to figure out how baby movies are made. No, instead let’s talk about how stupid everyone in the film is. My favorite example is when they use a flamethrower to kill hell demons (which pretty much look like they’re made out of magma), which makes about as much sense as trying to drown a fish. Or the fact that this teenage girl decides to MacGyver herself a bomb instead of running from a demon Rottweiler who is coming at her like a slinky with teeth. I could go on and on, but then I might spoil the whole mind numbing experience for you.The story paints a mythology that involves half human half-angel demon hunters who protect normal mortals affectionately referred to as mundanes (excellent choice in wording, since it sums up the film perfectly). Of course, there’s a heroine (played by Lily “Bushy Brows” Collins) who learns that her life is a lie and she’s some sort of chosen demon hunter. Luckily she’s got her buddy, who we’ll just call “Friend Zone” (Robert Sheehan) to support her as she falls for a moody Shadow Hunter (Jamie Campbell Bower), who I gather is supposed to be some kind of sex god, but looks more like Slender Man in a shitty blonde wig.
Look, I’m not going to tell you how to spend your money, but there are lots of better things you could do with $10 dollars. Honestly, though this is one of the most boring, poorly crafted films I've seen in a long time. Even thinking back on it to write this review feels like a chore. It’s a stupid movie that squanders it’s potential and only goes to show that expectations for cinema have fallen over the years. It’s getting to a point where I’m considering writing an angst-ridden teenage series, because it seems like all of them are getting made into movies these days. My advice? Go see Pacific Rim or Man of Steel or Elysium instead.To be perfectly honest, I like the mythos the film tries to create. I just hate everything else about it. The acting manages to embody the emotional depth of a Kristen Stewart movie; the direction is lackluster at best and the charm of… Well, Twilight. Essentially it’s a film that is the sum of its parts and the parts are gathered from a salvage yard of other movies ideas. Seriously though, it’s like a scavenger hunt of movie clichés. Not only that, but it would seem that every one of them have been done better before (in films, like I dunno.. Star Wars!).