Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones

In this post-Twilight and post-Harry Potter world, movie studios are clearly clamoring for their successors.  But that's easier said than done.  There's no formula for the exact amount of witches, werewolves, and wizards to generate a billion dollar tent-pole franchise.  Will Percy Jackson be the next Harry Potter?  Not bloody likely.  But will 'The Mortal Instruments' be the next 'Twilight'?  Hmm ... my crystal ball says, 'unclear ... try again later.'  (Damn Magic 8 ball!!)  Well, poor early reviews would indicate no, it will not.

Lilly Collins (daughter of Phil, and star of 'Mirror Mirror') plays a teenage girl whose world turns upside down when in the course of a day she witnesses a cloaked man killing a demon, her mother is attacked and subsequently disappears, and she learns that she isn't exactly human.  That's a pretty rough week.  (All of this may sound pretty familiar to Harry Potter and Percy Jackson fans.  Of course in this one, humans are called Mundanes rather than Muggles, so they're quite different!)  Anyhoo, she joins a group of handsome demon killers and begins to fulfill her destiny.  Blah, blah, blah.

Truthfully I'm not quite sure what I think about this movie.  I didn't hate it quite as much as early reviewers seem to.  Like 'Beautiful Creatures', in some ways it's kind of interesting and in others it's kind of a big mess.  It's a hodge-podge of all the aforementioned films, and accordingly it struggles to have an identity of its own.  The target audience is clearly teen and tween girls, but I think there's enough camp, quirk, and classic sci-fi/fantasy homages to keep the fanboys adequately entertained as well.  It's better than 'Twilight' for sure, but just the same if you're not a teen or tween girl you can probably do much better.

Grade: C+

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