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The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones

Film & TV

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With non-stop action, breathtaking special effects and talented cast, The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones is pure escapism at its finest.

Teenager Clary Fray (Lily Collins) thought she was ordinary girl growing up in New York City but when her mother is kidnapped and she is attacked by a nightmarish beast she learns that her life is anything but ordinary. Rescued by the handsome and mysterious Jace (Jamie Campbell Bower) Clary learns that she is descended from a race of beings called ‘Shadowhunters’ – powerful human/angel hybrids charged with protecting humanity in a never ending war between good and evil.

As Clary delves deeper into the Shadowhunters’ frightening world she learns that an ancient enemy named Valentine is waging war on the Shadowhunters and she alone holds the key to stopping him; if only she could unlock her long forgotten memories. Worlds collide and ancient bonds are tested in this epic supernatural adventure based on the book series by Cassandra Clare and directed by Harald Zwart.

Collins shines as Clary, delivering an emotional performance which allows her character to evolve from a naive victim to a brave warrior as she struggles to reconcile her human existence with her destiny as a Shadowhunter. With his chiselled good looks and hauntingly emotive eyes Jamie Campbell Bower owns the screen as Jace; a fierce shadow hunter with a surprisingly fragile heart and the natural chemistry between he and Collins really shines through. Robert Sheehan delivers a noteworthy performance as Simon, Clary’s best friend whose unrequited love adds a romantic twist to the story while Jonathan Rhys Meyers is brilliant as Valentine.

Stunning special effects bring the realm of the Shadowhunters to life in vivid detail; from palaces guarded by magic to the vast tombs of The City of Bones each new scene has been carefully crafted to capture your imagination. Equally impressive is the films vast array of monsters which range from vampires and werewolves to fire breathing demons and nightmarish ghouls; although younger viewers may be frightened by some creatures. Superbly choreographed battle scenes keep the film moving along at an energetic pace while its aptly chosen soundtrack intensifies the emotion of each scene and compliments the movie perfectly.

Clever scriptwriting allows Zwart to take a complex story full of unique characters and compact it into a two hour viewing experience which explores the origin of the shadow hunters and Clary’s connection to their world without overloading the audience with information. This means that viewers (like me) who haven’t read the books can still experience the wonder and excitement of this breathtaking story without feeling like you’re missing vital information.

Startling last minute revelations create a tantalising cliff hanger ending which leaves you desperate for answers and I plan on reading the books immediately as I just cannot wait for the next movie.

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