The film follows Clary (Lily Collins), a young girl who discovers that she actually belongs to the clan of shadowhunters, angelic warriors who kill demons. Can she protect the world from evil forces?
Clary's primary agenda, however, is to search for her missing mother. While doing so, she is constantly shielded by a fellow shadowhunter Lace (Jamie Campbell Bower), who needs her for a mission of his own. While Clary finds the flirtatious Lace's expertise at combat and insensitivity attractive, it's her best friend Simon (Robert Sheehan) who secretly harbours feelings for her. Who gets Clary and the reason behind her mother's disappearance form the plot.
became a tween sensation and
The Mortal Instruments
follows in its footsteps. The film is the first part of a formulaic fantasy series, strictly catering to younger audiences. Also based on a book, set in modern times, MI draws heavily from the
franchise as it too centers around a young girl, non-human characters (vampires/werevolves) and a love triangle.
While the latter has better action in terms of canvas and execution,
scores higher when it comes to romance. We must say MI has a better protagonist than
, as much to our relief, Clary isn't self-destructive like Bella.
On the flip side, while MI has all the right ingredients to appeal to a young crowd, including smart one-liners, the story-telling is highly unimaginative. There is no tension between characters, nor is the conflict between them sufficiently established. The negative characters seem way too ordinary to make an impact and after a while, the chase seems tedious.
It's the fight scenes that lift the film above mediocre, followed by the presence of Brit actor Jamie Campbell Bower. The former model has the looks, attitude and charisma to compete with heart-throb Robert Pattinson, aka Edward Cullen, and make teen girls go weak in the knees.
If you fancy action-fantasies like
Underworld, Twilight, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters,
you might like this one.