The Mortal Instruments: City Of Bones (2013)

Written by Rebecca Dendroff

Directed by: Harald Zwart
Genre: Action/Adventure/Drama
Running time: 130 minutes
Classification: PG13 – Some violence and Frightening Scenes
Release: 22 August 2013
Rating: 3/5

The film The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones is based on Cassandra Clare’s worldwide bestselling book series The Mortal Instruments. Set in contemporary New York City, a seemingly ordinary teenage girl Clary Fray (Lily Collins) discovers that she is the descendant of a line of Shadowhunters, young half-angel warriors caught up in an ancient battle to protect our world from demons.


After the disappearance of her mother (Lena Headey), Clary joins forces with a group of Shadowhunters who introduce her to a dangerous alternate New York known as Downworld, a place filled with demons, warlocks, vampires, werewolves and other deadly creatures.

With a mix of vampires, werewolves and a doomed teen romance, many would say that it’d be easy to write off The Mortal Instruments: City Of Bones as just another Twilight sort of film. But in actual fact, it has more in common with the Harry Potter franchise, what with the heroine Clary finding out she has angelic powers and being whisked off to an invisible castle to learn to use them. It’s definitely a subtle reminder of Harry arriving at Hogwarts for the first time.


The difference is that Harry was 11 and Clary is 18, which means things can get a little darker and a whole lot sexier. So yes, there’s a good deal of romance involving Jaime Campbell Bower who plays Jace, one of the best Shadowhunters of his age. Then there’s the talented young Irishman Robert Sheehan who gets the part of Simon Lewis, Clary’s nerdy-yet-cute best friend. Together they set out on an epic quest that involves an evil wizard bent on cleansing the magical bloodline, and dozens of monsters.

Though the villain of the film turns up very late in the day to unite them in a bout of supernatural butt-kicking, Valentine (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) is an extremely powerful and perhaps good looking villain who plans to restore their kind to power. Sounds familiar? Well, none of it is very original, considering they were taken from the Young Adult novels today; we’ve clearly seen a numerous lot of these books with the same genre. But there’s a twist this film provides that you’ll find out about when you get around to watching the film and you’ll definitely be confused about that particular part.


But for teenage girls, it’s a full-on Tumblrgasm in the making with the suggested gay love triangle of Magnus Bane (Godfrey Gao, who appears in his boxers) who takes a liking to Alec Lightwood (Kevin Zegers), who is in love with his friend and fellow Shadowhunter Jace. The amount of possible pairings in this show plus the manips (picture manipulations) and fanfics and gifs will definitely make this film become Tumblr famous.

Though the ending is rather awkward and there are MANY loose ends that are not tied up (such as what happened to Alec and what’s going to become of Simon), there is never a dull moment in the film as the story moves quickly. The cast is endearing and there’s a real sense of grandeur about the sets in the film. Actually, the sets are the best parts of this film as they are realistic and the details are absolutely beautiful. They help to make up for the worse parts of the film.

The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones is out now in theatres! Check out the trailer below and then head on down to the theatres to make a comparison to the novel if you like!

(Disclaimer: All films reviewed are for educational purposes only and not meant for commercial exploitation.)


About us: SG NEWWAVE is a film club that conducts “film appreciation” sessions and post-screening critiques. These critiques are conducted and documented for educational use only. They are NOT in anyway in support of any leisure of profit making activity.

Leave a Reply