Movie studios have been desperately trying to find a franchise to be the new Harry Potter/Twilight/Hunger Games to fill up our cinemas. Movie bosses were so convinced The Mortal Instruments book series could be a hit that a sequel was announced even before the first movie had been released. But was this a wise move?
Teenager Clary (Lily Collins) thought she was just an average girl until she witnesses a fight that no one else can see. As she discovers a secret world with demons, vampires and werewolves, her mother (Lena Headey) goes missing. With help from the mysterious shadowhunter Jace (Jamie Campbell Bower), Clary must find her mother and the truth about her past that’s been hidden from her for so long.
While I enjoyed the book series, this adaptation is a bit of a mess. It tries too hard to be like every other fantasy franchise that it loses a lot of its own identity in the process. I’m not saying Cassandra Clare’s books were the most original novels ever but they did have memorable characters, a fun, sarcastic sense of humour and a deep and detailed mythology. Unfortunately a lot of this is absent from the finished movie. So much has been cut from the books that a lot of the plot and character motivation doesn’t make sense. The film is also almost completely derived of the humour featured in the books and ultimately it makes for dull viewing. There is also no chemistry between Clary and Jace, which is odd considering the actors were dating each other for a while off-screen. Also all the Shadowhunters look way to old to be teenagers, and are also frightfully boring.
However the acting is passable, Lily Collins makes for a likeable enough Clary and Jonathan Rhys Meyers is at least amusing as he hams it up as the villainous Valentine. Also if they do continue to make a sequel, Clary’s friend Simon (Robert Sheehan) has a bigger role to play which should hopefully allow Sheehan to show more of his comedic talents and charisma as he displayed in tv’s Misfits.
Rating 1.5/5 – a disappointing and boring attempt to cash in on the young adult market