"A stunning film, it ticks all the right boxes with what makes a compelling blockbuster"
Despite having not read the original novel The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, there was a genuine stream of excitement going in to seeing the cinematic adaptation, complete with a refreshing feeling going in blind, and knowing so little about it. With only the trailer, synopsis and a keen support of Lily Collins behind me, director Harald Zwart must be commended, as he proved that he is not only appealing to established fans who already love the fantasy fiction, but to newcomers such as myself, as I didn't leave disappointed.
We are introduced to Clary Fray (Collins), a seemingly ordinary teenager, just going about her day to day life as any teenager does. That is until she sees something extraordinary, when she witnesses the death of a Demon at the hands of Shadowhunter Jace Wayland (Jamie Campbell Bower) as her life is turned upside down. Once her mother (Lena Headey) is attacked and taken from their New York home, Clary sets out with Jace and her 'Mundane' friend Simon (Robert Sheehan) to learn the truth and ultimately locate and rescue her mother. Their journey takes them to The Institute, where they meet a small band of Shadowhunters lead by Hodge (Jared Harris) as Clary begins to uncover her true heritage.
On the whole, the cast are great and perfectly embody their roles, with a mention also to Jonathan Rhys Meyers, who makes for a terrific choice as the villainous Valentine, bringing a sense of true malice to his character, Collins shines as Clary and is really coming into her own as a young actress, in what is a strong, female lead role.
Meanwhile Sheehan's Simon provides much of the films humour and effectively acts as the viewer's eyes as he is dragged along on this surreal journey into the unknown. Campbell Bower and Kevin Zegers are equally as great as the warrior Shadowhunters, however in regards to Headey, the talented actress is shockingly underused (since her character spends the majority of the film unconscious, hopefully she'll have more to do in the sequel).
Bucking the recent trend, the film is not in 3D, and does not rely too heavily on CGI to tell the story, as the effects that are there merely help tell the story in a very smart way. Obviously this film exists to fill the void left by The Twilight Saga, but unlike the aforementioned franchise, it doesn't put emphasis on the love story aspect. Although there is one that exists, it feels organic to the story and helps with a certain plot point, but doesn't over power. Instead Zwart lets his characters drive the story, and in doing so it allows the story to unfold in an interesting and compelling way.
Overall The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones is a stunning film, it ticks all the right boxes with what makes a compelling blockbuster, and while it is a take on the classic and conventional good versus evil story, it does so in an interesting and unique way. I may not have been a fan beforehand, but now I simply cannot wait for the sequel, in what will undoubtedly turn out to be a thrilling franchise.