The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones Movie Review

The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones image002


Starring: Lily Collins, Jamie Campbell Bower, Kevin Zegers, Jemima West, Robert Sheehan, Robert Maillet, Kevin Durand, Lena Headey, Jared Harris, CCH Pounder, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Aiden Turner, Stephen R. Hart, Harry Van Gorkum

Directed by: Harald Zwart

Rated: PG-13

Run Time: 130 mins

Genre: Action/ Adventure/ Drama

Opens August 21st

By Lisa Minzey of The Reel 

Hey Phoenix Film Fans! Opening mid-week is a film based on a popular young adult novel series written by Cassandra Clare. The first book/film in the series “The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones” stars Lily Collins, Jamie Campbell Bower and Jonathan Rhys Meyers. Will this film win over fans of the book and gain a few more? Read on to find out.


When Clary Fray (Lily Collins) witnesses a murder in a club that one she can apparently see, she begins to question her sanity. She keeps drawing these strange symbols, a diamond shape with two horns or wings extending at the top of the shape. Her mother, Jocelyn (Lena Heady) becomes more alarmed, begging Clary to stay home so she can tell her something important. Clary, being the rebellious teen, leaves her mom, taking off with her friend, Simon (Robert Sheehan). While with Simon at a coffee house,  she catches sight of the killer from the previous night. The mysterious figure reveals himself to be Jace (Jamie Campbell Bower), and before she can get any further information, she receives a phone call from her mom, ordering to stay away from home. Right after Clary left, a few men broke into their home, confronting Jocelyn looking for a hidden item.


Clary panics and rushes home to find the place in disarray. Jace comes to her rescue, where she finds out that he is a shadow hunter, someone that is half human/half angel, hunting demons and other things that go bump in the night. Apparently, it's been a huge family secret that Jocelyn was hiding from Clary as she is also a shadow hunter.


Now Clary needs to find her mother before an enemy from her mother's past, Valentine (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) does. Jocelyn, years ago, hid something very important to Valentine, and now he is hunting Clary to find out where it is.  Will Clary be able to find her mom in time or will Valentine succeed in his devious plan?


For those new to the series, some of the plot points in the film may come across really strange.  Without revealing any spoilers, some of the relationships get close pretty fast before really getting to know each other. This film is more mature in the context than most young adult films, so it is recommended to leave the small kiddos at home.


Other than that, the special effects are rather remarkable, capturing the essence of magic that comes across the book. The casting choices, albeit different that what is described in the book, works well. Lily Collins and Jamie Campbell Bower have amazing chemistry as Clary and Jace, which is one of the pivotal relationships of the film. Compared to some of the other "tween" novels turned into films, this excels in the special effects/escapism, but the storyline gets a little complex and confusing which hopefully will be cleared up in future sequels.  Be sure to catch "The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones" when it opens in theaters nationwide starting Wednesday August 21,2013.