The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones (2013)

The Mortal Instruments - City of Bones Poster.jpg
Angels and Demons

When her mother disappears, Clary Fray learns that she descends from a line of warriors who protect our world from demons. She joins forces with others like her and heads into a dangerous alternate New York called Downworld.

Ever since the success of the Harry Potter franchise, many books have been adapted into films, with the intention of appealing to the same crowd. But audiences haven't taken the bait, and 90% of them haven't been successful enough to spawn a sequel, let alone a franchise. It is possible to do so, as Twilight and The Hunger Games have proven, it's just difficult to get the audiences to return to seeing things which are similar in many ways. The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones is the latest attempt at beginning a franchise, and the results are poor.

It tries to distance itself from the other franchise-attempts by including snarky, self-aware humor, but this can't hide the feeling that you've seen everything done better in previous films, with Headmaster Hodge feeling like a poor attempt to try and get a Dumbledore for this franchise, and the Demons feeling like a PG-13 attempt at copying John Carpenter's The Thing.

Nothing says brooding like wearing a hood indoors

The film overuses CG, but what's even worse is how glaringly bad the CG is, especially when you have many scenes with the effects inhabiting the majority of the screen.

The script is problematic, with the titular City of Bones only amounting to one scene and the introduction of an incest subplot left unresolved, which is troubling since the supposed brother and sister had already kissed.

The cast do a good job acting, with the exception of Jonathan Rhys-Meyers, who brings nothing but a taste for scenery chewing to the role of the films villain. Its a shame that their roles have characterization as thin as paper, with little more about them being told other than their relationship woes and their derivative backstories.

To describe The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones in one word, 'generic' would be the chosen word.