Starring: Lily Collins, Jamie Campbell Bower, Kevin Zegers, Robert Sheehan, Lena Headey, Jonathan Rhys-Meyers, Jared Harris, Aiden Turner, CCH Pounder
Written By: Jessica Postigo
Directed By: Harald Zwart
Oh my. Where to start… well… it wasn’t very good? I completely understand why this film bombed at the box office. First of all, they have a D-list cast. The best actors in the film (Headey, Rhys-Meyers, Harris) are all under utilized in supporting roles, and left to play second fiddle to an array of pretty young faces who have only one emotion. I’ve said this since I saw her in Abduction… Lily Collins is one of the worst actresses working in Hollywood today. She’s so wooden, she makes Kristen Stewart look like a slapstick act. Bower spends most of the time brooding angrily, because that’s what the “bad boys” in these movies do. He obviously has seen Twilight one too many times. Zegers offers nothing to the film, or to his role. He could have been played by literally ANYBODY. His role is poorly developed.
There’s a world within our world. Demons, vampires, werewolves, and we can’t see any of it. A few Shadow Hunters walk among us and keep us safe. They can see them, but we can’t see them… unless they want us to. Lily Collins finds herself TORN BETWEEN TWO WORLDS. Her mother is in a coma. Her best friend (imagine if they had given Anna Kendrick a larger role in Twilight, and imagine how pointless that would have been) follows her around everywhere. He apparently has no family, or job, or school, and his sole purpose is to follow Lily Collins around. Shadow Hunters enter, protect Lily from danger, and she learns more about her powers and her purpose. It is basically every teen lit novel ever written, just written poorly.
This movie makes Twilight look like Shakespeare, merely because it is so obviously walking in those footsteps. City Of Bones owes a lot to the Harry Potter/Twilight/Hunger Games/Percy Jackson franchises that have come before it, but this offers nothing new. It feels like “Percy Jackson Vs The Darkness” or “Katniss Meets True Blood”. Amplifying that mediocrity is the weak cast, who should all be replaced before they continue forward with the sequel. Hollywood should stop giving Lily Collins work altogether. She’s never going to happen.
I zoned out during sections of the film because I literally couldn’t care what was happening. Long sections of exposition, or sections where Collins was expected to emote were lost on me. I can’t imagine the fans of the book are happy with this, nor can I see the sequel being any better than the original. I don’t even know why there is a sequel. This was awful. It felt like a straight-to-video film, which is not a compliment at all.
FINAL GRADE: D+