Directed by: Harald Zwart
Based on the worldwide best-selling book series this film is easily one of the most derivative pieces of fiction that we’ve seen on-screen in quite some time. It is clearly designed to follow in the footsteps of Beautiful Creatures and the vacuum left by the ending of Twilight. Set in contemporary New York City it is ostensibly the tale of a seemingly ordinary teenager, Clary Fray (Collins), discovers she is the descendant of a line of Jumpers…er, um, Shadowhunters, who are a secret cadre of young half-angel warriors living amongst us Muggles er, Mundanes. These Shadowhunters are locked in an ancient battle with demons, in order to protect our world. After the disappearance of her mother, Clary must join forces with the Shadowhunters, who introduce her to a dangerous alternate New York called Downworld that is filled not only with demons, but warlocks, witches, vampires, werewolves and other deadly creatures.
Yeah, this story is so filled with tropes from other sources that it should be illegal. In addition to those already mentioned there are some from Percy Jackson, and others, as well as (believe it or not) several Star Wars moments (including one that is so totally “ewww” that we should have seen it coming). Seriously, we understand that much of this tripe is formulistic in nature but honestly the swiping should be way more subtle than what we see here.
So yeah, this film was most assuredly two hours of our life that we are simply never going to get back. Still, we understand why it will appear to a certain segment of the movie-going population, so, go if you must, but be aware that it is mostly recycled drek.
Robert J. Sodaro has been reviewing films for some 30 years. During that time, his movie reviews and articles have appeared in numerous print publications, as well as on the web. Subscribe to receive regular articles and movie reviews.