Like many films based on popular novels, "The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones" (watch trailer) was one of the most highly anticipated films of 2013. When a film is based on a book, it receives an automatic marketing boost thanks to its appeal to the story's preexisting fans. "The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones" was no exception, and fans of the series have been theorizing on the film adaptation since it was first announced. Fortunately for the diehard fans with high expectations, "The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones" is true to the novel it's based on. Like the actors in the "Harry Potter," "Twilight," and "The Hunger Games" films, the cast of "The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones" went above and beyond to accurately portray the original story's main characters, which was one of the main concerns for fans who had already fallen in love with the characters in the novels.
Audiences especially enjoyed the way Lily Collins portrayed Clary Fray, the main protagonist of "The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones" alongside Jace Wayland and Simon Lewis. Lily Collins managed to capture the personality of the young angel hybrid perfectly, transforming a stubborn and sarcastic demon killer into a likable character audiences can relate to. Audiences also adored Robert Sheehan's portrayal of Jewish bass player Simon Lewis, a nerdy young man who provides the film with plenty of comic relief. Fans of the novel had already predicted Robert Sheehan would be a likely pick for Simon Lewis due to his appearance and all-round acting abilities. Simon Lewis is one of the fans' favorites in the novel series, so it's no surprise that the film's version was well-received by audiences as well.
However, the most popular character in the film adaptation of "The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones" is likely Isabelle Lightwood. Izzy is a teenage angel hybrid like Clary Fray, but the two characters have drastically different personalities. Even though Izzy is not one of the most prominent characters and is not particularly likable on the surface due to her aggressive and no-nonsense personality, Jemima West's flawless portrayal of the character has had audiences raving ever since the film was released. This is a huge accomplishment for Jemima West, whose role as Izzy was her first role in a major film.
Aside from the variety of characters and the skilled actors who portrayed them, "The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones" is receiving plenty of praise for the special effects. Even though the special-effects team behind "The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones" had to produce hundreds of special effects on a very low budget, the visuals were excellent and surprisingly believable. Because of the low budget, a variety of practical effects such as prosthetic makeup and costumes were used. Fortunately, practical effects that are not generated by computers are rising swiftly in popularity, so audiences were forgiving of the film's frequent use of old-school monster magic.
Audiences also loved the spectacular action sequences, which used up most of the film's special-effects budget, and the famous final battle did not disappoint fans who weren't sure how the novel's ending would translate to the big screen. Audiences are excited to see what the special-effects team will be able to accomplish with a bigger budget when the sequel, "The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones," is released.
Of course, the enthralling story was one of the major reasons for the positive audience reaction "The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones" has been enjoying. The film is a somewhat typical action-adventure supernatural thriller, but the story still manages to be unique. "The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones" starts with the story of Clary Fray, a teenager in New York City who doesn't realize she's one of the few remaining descendants of the Shadowhunters. The Shadowhunters are secret warriors with both angel and human blood coursing through their veins. Demons are bent on the destruction of the planet, but the Shadowhunters are humanity's defenders. When Clary Fray's mother disappears, Clary joins the Shadowhunters in the hope of tracking down her mother.
Because the target audience of "The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones" is young adult females, the fact that the film features a female main protagonist was an instant hit. In fact, mostly-female audiences overwhelmingly gave "The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones" glowing reviews, which has set this film up to be a popular franchise in the company of other widely popular young adult fantasy franchises like "Twilight," "Harry Potter," and "The Hunger Games."