The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones is either a staggering work of comedic genius or, more likely, yet another indictment of the American viewing public by the movie-making powers that be stating, flatly, that we will buy anything.
Clary Fray (played by Lily Collins, who also happens to be the daughter of 80’s pop icon Phil Collins) has her sheltered and idyllic life of New York City poetry slams and teenage meanderings interrupted by the abduction of her mother by demons. She is then thrust into a secret world where demons and angels are at war with each other. Turns out, she has joined the fray in the middle of the story. She comes from a bloodline of Shadowhunters, warriors of light conscripted to fight the powers of evil. Alongside others of her kind, she must battle not only to save her mother, but also to protect our world.
Traditionally, as a point of professional duty, I do my best to point out the things that I enjoy about a movie even if it is a stinker. Even the worst movie has some redemptive qualities. The little things, you know? But a run time of two hours and ten minutes, clumsy and hackneyed storytelling, and a cornucopia of fantasy and love story clichés combine to make The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones feel more like the act of slowly stapling my tongue to the roof of my mouth as opposed to a fun romp into a dark world of mysticism and wonder.
The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones opens today in Philly area theaters.