The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones is based on the first of five popular fantasy novels from Cassandra Clare. She, first-time screenwriter Jessica Postigo and The Karate Kid director Harald Zwart borrow heavily from every young adult fantasy and horror story ever done.
Aimed at the Harry Potter and Twilight crowd, it has what early Harry had and that Bella and Edward never found. That's a sense of humor.
Clary sees strange signs everywhere. Shortly after she starts seeing them, Clary can suddenly see demons. It turns out that Clary is a Shadowhunter. They're angelic beings who kill demons.
At a nightclub, Clary watches Jace kill someone, but no one else sees it. He's one of the best Shadowhunters; they're invisible to humans. Clary's best bud is Simon. While Clary and Simon are trying to figure out why she can see Jace, demons attack Clary's mom, who earlier finally tried to talk to the girl about her special powers.
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Mom calls just as the attack begins. When Clary arrives, her mother is missing and the place is trashed. Demons then try to kill Clary. Jace saves her.
The mystery is, where is mom and a special cup she has been hiding, who is Clary and why doesn't she know who she really is and what sinister plot is being hatched by Shadowhunter nemesis Valentine.
Lily Collins (Snow White in Mirror, Mirror) stars as Clary. Jamie Campbell Bower who -- ironically -- did bit parts in Harry Potter and Twilight, is Jace. Lena Heady does mom and Jonathan Rhys Meyers is Valentine.
This movie is all over the place. The plot happily twists, turns and churns. One awful cliche after another is uttered with straight faces by actors having an absolute blast. Postigo and Zwart throw demon hunters, demons, vampires, werewolves and creatures from the bowels of hell at the screen.
Surprisingly everything sticks.
Director: Harald Zwart
Stars: Lily Collins, Jamie Campbell Bower, Lena Heady, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, CCH Pounder, Kevin Zegers, Jemima West, Robert Sheehan, Kevin Durand, Godfrey Gao, Jared Harris
Mr. Movie rating: 4 stars
Rated PG-13 for mature themes. It's playing at Regal's Columbia Center 8, the Fairchild Cinemas 12 and at Walla Walla Grand Cinemas.
5 stars to 4 1/2 stars: Must see on the big screen
4 stars to 3 1/2 stars: Good film, see it if it's your type of movie.
3 stars to 2 1/2 stars: Wait until it comes out on video.
2 stars to 1 star: Don't bother.
0 stars: Speaks for itself.