The teen fantasy failed to delight the press.
In a cinematic landscape that includes Harry Potter and Twilight shapes mountains, there isn’t much room for another supernatural teenage escape pod. The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones has attempted to muscle in there unnoticed, but the critics have found it out.
Teenagers with attitude (and actual weapons)
The story follows a familiar theme of the genre: young teenager – this time Lily Collins as Clary – finds out she can’t just get drunk at 16, moan about homework and eventually marry and have two kids because she’s got to go and save the world. Clary is next in a long line of demon slayers, and has to fulfil her destiny to fight off evil. Having teamed up with people like her, she descends to the dangerous alternate New York called Downworld.
And let the bad filmmaking commence.
“There's a Dumbledore, there's a Voldemort, there's a magical MacGuffin that our heroes must track down, but it's a soulless attempt to re-create the Potter magic,” say Time Out, likening the film to Harry Potter but bemoaning its failed attempt to best it.
The New York Post say "The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones" hopes to be the start of a new franchise for tweens and Twihards, but the twuth is this twash is anything but a twiumph,” while Film.com say it’s “Everything you're looking for, provided you're looking for nothing.”
Lily Collins and Jamie Campbell Bower in Mortal Instruments
And even when it does try and do something different, say Village Voice, it fails miserably. “An endless parade of derivative genre tropes, even tedious and convoluted when it dares to break the formula-there may or may not be an incest subplot.”
All this negativity has channelled itself into a 25% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. But don’t let that fool you: Toy Story 2 got 100% and we’re pretty sure Mortal Instruments will be more than 75% worse. If you’re a fan of the book you’ll want to see what director Harald Zwart has done with your heroes, if not, we’d suggest cleaning your room instead.
Can the leather-clad hormone tanks save the day?