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The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones - Film Review

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by Hayley Maree (subscribe)
I am a student, living in Melbourne, trying to find inspiration for my novel. I love the theatre, travelling and immersing myself in English history.
Published August 22nd 2013
Stars: Lily Collins (Mirror Mirror), Jamie Campbell Bower (The Twilight Saga), Lena Headey (Game of Thrones, 300), Jonathan Rhys Meyers (The Tudors)
Duration: 130 mins
Rated: M

The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones
The New York Institute: Isabelle, Simon, Clary, Jace and Alec

After the global success of Twilight, Cassandra Clare's The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones is an edgy, new teen film, with an arsenal of kick-ass weaponry, costumes and acting talent; it is a welcome first instalment of what we can expect to be another hugely popular series.

Though not strictly a vampire flick, it does explore the inner sanctum of the supernatural world: vampires, warlocks, werewolves, faeries—and, of course, the hunters. The Shadowhunters (as they are aptly named) are a race of people—half human, half angel—whose task is to annihilate demonic beings and ensure the protection of mankind.

Set on the streets of Manhattan, the story unfolds when Clary Fray (Collins), a Shadowhunter raised in ignorance of her destiny, witnesses a group of teenagers murder a young man in a nightclub. She learns that they are part of a secret supernatural society and have been training to destroy creatures that live undetected within the city.

The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones
Isabelle Lightwood and Clary Fray (Jemima West and Lily Collins)
While elements of the story are somewhat 'been there, done that', viewers must understand that it is for the fans of the novel that this movie is released, of which there are many. And they should not be disappointed.

Screenwriter Jessica Postigo has not strayed very far from the story's original content, also keeping many of Clare's witty one-liners, most of which are delivered by the handsome, cocky male lead, Jace (Campbell Bower). This light-hearted dialogue breaks up the potential monotony of death, monsters, boy/girl drama and family issues.

It is also for Clare's audacity in the addressing of mature issues and themes that this film should be viewed. It casually abandons the filtered, stereotypical romance of many teen movies, instead gently pursuing tabooed territory such as teen homosexuality.

With six novels in the series promised, there is a good chance that we'll be treated to at least five more of these. Production for the next film is already underway.

The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones
Looking Good in Black: Jamie Campbell Bower and Lily Collins as Jace and Clary

Cassandra Clare's The Mortal Instruments series is available at most retail bookstores; subsequent novels are titled 'City of Ashes', 'City of Glass', 'City of Fallen Angels', 'City of Lost Souls' and 'City of Heavenly Fire', which is due for release in 2014.

Images appear courtesy of Sony Pictures.
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When: Now showing
Where: In cinemas
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