Reviews - Major Releases


Film Review: The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones

CG masturbation, impure and simple—full of sound and fury, signifying nothing—but just try to tweet that to teenagers who’ll line up for anything that smacks of another Twilight.

Aug 20, 2013

-By Harry Haun


filmjournal/photos/stylus/1383438-Mortal_Instruments_Md.jpg

For movie details, please click here.

Don’t you just love it when a new wannabe blockbuster arrogantly swaggers off the Young Adult bookshelf and into the movie marketplace, promising to make a franchise of itself with its telltale title punctuation? The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, Installment One in Cassandra Clare’s popular YA series of novels, ushers us in on the ground floor of the wonderful world of Shadowhunters by hitching its narrative up to a sweet, innocent second-generation case-in-point, Clary Fray ( Mirror Mirror’s Lily Collins, the daughter of Phil Collins).

Author Clare’s Clary is oblivious to her do-good lineage until, early on, a band of Neanderthal brutes stumbles into her home after what seems like a hard day on “Game of Thrones” and makes off with Mummy (who happens to be one of the stars of “Game of Thrones,” Lena Headey). The rest of the picture is spent trying to find out if Mummy has been killed or stashed in another dimension by these thugs; assisting her, when not romancing her, are her nerdy beau (Robert Sheehan of TV’s “Love/Hate”) and a blond, bona-fide demon-slayer ( Twilight’s Jamie Campbell Bower).

Apparently, director Haward Zwart allowed only beautiful twenty-somethings to audition. The resulting film is top-heavy with them—but none prettier than Collins.

Did I forget to mention this whole thing is played out in present-day Manhattan? I may have, since the medieval cathedrals and arcane settings frequented in the film are presented as something that jaded New Yorkers are blind to—an elaborate, parallel universe we somehow never noticed before. It looks like the art director and costume designer got a tad tipsy on their bulging budgets and lost all logic.

Like the book, the film uses a little of this and a little of that from all the lowbrow genres. At one point a character catches himself saying, “The werewolves are coming to our rescue.” It all adds up to a neutralizing hodgepodge of meaningless action.

City of Bones is one of those movies where the choice of weapons runs from broadsword to laser gun to spear to blowtorch to crossbow to whip to kitchen sink to vampire fangs. Then, the computer-generated images start laying it on hot and heavy, turning snarling dogs into flying octopuses. The movie moves, but you never know where.


Film Review: The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones

CG masturbation, impure and simple—full of sound and fury, signifying nothing—but just try to tweet that to teenagers who’ll line up for anything that smacks of another Twilight.

Aug 20, 2013

-By Harry Haun


filmjournal/photos/stylus/1383438-Mortal_Instruments_Md.jpg

For movie details, please click here.

Don’t you just love it when a new wannabe blockbuster arrogantly swaggers off the Young Adult bookshelf and into the movie marketplace, promising to make a franchise of itself with its telltale title punctuation? The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, Installment One in Cassandra Clare’s popular YA series of novels, ushers us in on the ground floor of the wonderful world of Shadowhunters by hitching its narrative up to a sweet, innocent second-generation case-in-point, Clary Fray (Mirror Mirror’s Lily Collins, the daughter of Phil Collins).

Author Clare’s Clary is oblivious to her do-good lineage until, early on, a band of Neanderthal brutes stumbles into her home after what seems like a hard day on “Game of Thrones” and makes off with Mummy (who happens to be one of the stars of “Game of Thrones,” Lena Headey). The rest of the picture is spent trying to find out if Mummy has been killed or stashed in another dimension by these thugs; assisting her, when not romancing her, are her nerdy beau (Robert Sheehan of TV’s “Love/Hate”) and a blond, bona-fide demon-slayer (Twilight’s Jamie Campbell Bower).

Apparently, director Haward Zwart allowed only beautiful twenty-somethings to audition. The resulting film is top-heavy with them—but none prettier than Collins.

Did I forget to mention this whole thing is played out in present-day Manhattan? I may have, since the medieval cathedrals and arcane settings frequented in the film are presented as something that jaded New Yorkers are blind to—an elaborate, parallel universe we somehow never noticed before. It looks like the art director and costume designer got a tad tipsy on their bulging budgets and lost all logic.

Like the book, the film uses a little of this and a little of that from all the lowbrow genres. At one point a character catches himself saying, “The werewolves are coming to our rescue.” It all adds up to a neutralizing hodgepodge of meaningless action.

City of Bones is one of those movies where the choice of weapons runs from broadsword to laser gun to spear to blowtorch to crossbow to whip to kitchen sink to vampire fangs. Then, the computer-generated images start laying it on hot and heavy, turning snarling dogs into flying octopuses. The movie moves, but you never know where.
Post a Comment
Asterisk (*) is a required field.
* Author: 
Rate This Article: (1=Bad, 5=Perfect)

*Comment:
 

More Major Releases

The Guest
Film Review: The Guest

A grieving family opens its doors to a polite young man who knew their late son when both were serving in the military in this cautionary thriller about the perils of taking things–and people–at face value. More »

No Good Deed
Film Review: No Good Deed

This one certainly doesn't go unpunished, at least for the audience. More »

The Drop review
Film Review: The Drop

An excellent cast carries this familiar crime story that relies on revelations a little far-fetched. More »

Dolphin Tale 2
Film Review: Dolphin Tale 2

Handicapped dolphin Winter finds a new friend in this wholesome sequel to a family favorite. More »

ADVERTISEMENT



REVIEWS

The Drop review
Film Review: The Drop

An excellent cast carries this familiar crime story that relies on revelations a little far-fetched. More »

Dolphin Tale 2
Film Review: Dolphin Tale 2

Handicapped dolphin Winter finds a new friend in this wholesome sequel to a family favorite. More »

Player for the Film Journal International website.


ADVERTISEMENT



INDUSTRY GUIDES

» Blue Sheets
FJI's guide to upcoming movie releases, including films in production and development. Check back weekly for the latest additions.

» Distribution Guide
» Equipment Guide
» Exhibition Guide

ORDER A PRINT SUBSCRIPTION

Film Journal International

Subscribe to the monthly print edition of Film Journal International and get the full visual impact of this valuable resource for the cinema business.

» Click Here

SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES

Learn how to promote your company at the Film Expo Group events: ShowEast, CineEurope, and CineAsia.

» Click Here