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Mortal Instruments: The City Of Bones

Mortal Instruments

The City Of Bones.

Starring: Lily Collins, Lena Headey, Jamie Campbell Bower, Kevin Durrand, CCH Pounder, Jared Harris (Rated M – 130 min).

Based on a spectacularly popular novel series by best-selling author Cassandra Clare, this big screen incarnation of the opening stanza in her Mortal Instruments saga maintains a level of interest completely diminishing my initial conservative expectations. This is a great movie that all ages are sure to enjoy, while fans of the books should also be happy that the elements have been kept intact for the film adaptation. I really expected this to be terrible, so it was to my great surprise Mortal Instruments proved to be so high calibre in an area where these types of movies have been milked to the extreme.

Young adult fantasy fiction novels continue to be a target by screenwriters, Beautiful Creatures and The Hunger Games are recent examples that worked. Unfortunately many do not, Percy Jackson….. anybody? Most noticeable, Mortal Instruments is technically cool, the special effects throughout are never overstated thus stabilising the storyline.

Likable rising star Lily Collins (daughter of retro musician Phil) plays Clary, an ordinary teenager in downtown contemporary New York. Unusual circumstances come to light and she learns that her ancestry is part of a secret alliance known as the Shadowhunters. Being a descendent of this being is too much information for a hip, young fashion conscious girl in the big apple but after Clary’s mother disappears, things begin to change. It turns out that half angel warriors are locked in battle high above shielding Earth from demons intent of attacking human existence.

In despair of her missing parent, Clary reluctantly unites with these Shadowhunters who acquaint her with an ‘alternative’ New York called Downworld. Her emotional state is tested in this weird version of the city she knows so well providing rare humour in a mostly adventurous story. Intriguing confrontations with vampires, werewolves and various optical illusions in the form of lethal creatures keeps Clary concerned, but when the time is right, animal instincts of survival will be the key. To survive the destruction, Clary will rise, kick into stealth mode and help save the world as she knows it.

Lily Collins was the highlight of Abduction, an excruciating movie you were lucky not to have seen, she also showed promise in Mirror, Mirror opposite Julia Roberts. Shining in a memorable leading performance, stardom beckons. A plethora of ideas, fast pacing, lack of cutesy romance and a blend of dimensional characters make this an enjoyable fantasy and an incentive to read the books. I did.

Shane A. Bassett

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