Bad Romance

This Is What a Fanfic Movie Looks Like




Like, crazy bad.

It is so comically bad that it is kind of... wonderful.

The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones is based on the first in a series of YA books that leapt from the furiously masturbating internet world of Harry Potter fan fiction. As Potter fanfic writer Cassandra Clare's pieces grew in popularity, she changed the names, the story evolved, and now it's this thing that is kind of different from fanfic but still very obviously just fanfic. The film adaptation is exactly as cheap and ridiculous as its source material.

BUT, beautifully, it is such a tremendous clusterfuck of gothy teen action and romance that I couldn't not love it.

The story follows teenager Clary (played to plucky perfection by Lily Collins' eyebrows) who discovers an underworld in New York City after the abduction of her mother, Jocelyn (Lena Headey). Clary hooks up with a pack of demon slayers called Shadowhunters, led by Jace (blond actor with cheekbones and an accent, swoon). The Shadowhunters help Clary try to track down her mom and her mom's fancy wineglass (?) and uncover some mysteries about... stuff. Magic stuff.

There is a character named "The High Warlock of Brooklyn." He is a stunning Asian man who does not wear pants. Every mythical creature ever mentioned in a fantasy book is present. There are also crystal wands, demon-death-by-Bach, and a little light incest! I am telling you: This movie has everything, and all of it is insane. So, even though it's horrible—seriously, it is just embarrassingly ridiculous—it's so action packed and goofy and over the top that my net reaction was "I hate that I am having the best time right now."

Related Film

The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones

Official Site:

Director: Harald Zwart

Producer: Robert Kulzer, Don Carmody, Bob Shaye, Michael Lynne and Martin Moszkowicz

Cast: Lily Collins, Jamie Bower, Robert Sheehan, Kevin Zegers, Lena Headey, Kevin Durand, Aidan Turner, Jemima West, Godfrey Gao, CCH Pounder, Jared Harris, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Harry Van Gorkum, Robert Maillet, Stephen Hart, Chris Ratz, Elyas M'Barek and Chad Connell


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