Movie review – Teen demon hunters rule, ok

2013-09-15 14:00

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Film: The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones (Nu Metro)

Director: Harold Zwart

Featuring: Lily Collins, Jamie Campbell Bower, Robert Sheehan, Lena Headley, CCH Pounder and Jonathan Rhys-Meyers

Unashamedly cashing in on the post-Twilight craze, and it’s so much better.

If you thought “muggle” was a rude name for a person with no magical powers, you haven’t read Cassandra Clare, who calls mere mortals “mundanes” in her Mortal Instruments universe.

She’s a huge Harry Potter fan who has written a fair whack of fan fiction in the JK Rowling universe.

But her own created world is as worthy of a visit.

Set in New York, The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones is a hip teen urban fantasy populated by all the usual suspects – vampires, warlocks, witches, demons and the stars of this show, shadowhunters.

In print, the novels predate The Hunger Games trilogy and postdate the Twilight books.

They also feature a female protagonist who finds she has a higher destiny to fulfil.

Thankfully, her destiny is more closely aligned with Katniss Everdeen’s of saving the world than Bella Swan’s, which amounted to marrying a vampire and having a child with fangs.

Producer Robert Kulzer was clear on what he wanted.

He said: “Since the success of the Twilight movies, every producer has been trying to find their equivalent.

“After reading these books, we felt they had the potential to become a huge franchise.”

Lily Collins, who was Snow White in Mirror Mirror, is Clary Fray, an ordinary teenager with an artist mother and a father who has been long dead.

She has a best friend called Simon (Robert Sheehan), who is doomed to fan the flames of his unrequited love.

It is during her birthday celebrations that she discovers her life isn’t quite as straightforward as it seems.

In the space of a few hours, she discovers her mother is gone, her flat is overrun by a demon and a cute blond, Jace (Jamie Campbell Bower), is following her.

Fantastical creatures, ancient rituals and the de rigeur love triangle make this an enjoyable romp with a protagonist who gives the damsel-in-distress routine a sucker punch, as she is revealed to be much more powerful than both her would-be boyfriends put together.

Clary is a positive role model for young women because this is essentially a story about finding personal power, acting with honour and having a damn good time along the way.

The sequel, City of Ashes, is set to be released next year.

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