When it comes to magical, supernatural teen dramas, the genre has a wide array of hits and misses. One of the more divisive entries in this category is The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, which starred Lily Collins in the lead role. Now, fans and new viewers alike can enjoy the film on Netflix.
While the film didn’t ignite the box office or reach Twilight or Hunger Games heights, it has earned a dedicated fan base and stands as a testament to the genre’s enduring appeal. On the streamer, the burgeoning star allure of Lily Collins as well as the movie’s grounding in the popular book series has it as a go-to on the streamer.
In The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, Lily Collins takes on the role of Clary Fray, a seemingly ordinary teenager who discovers she’s a descendant of a line of Shadowhunters, human-angel hybrids who hunt down demons. It’s a role that calls for both dramatic depth and physical prowess, and Collins rises to the occasion, delivering a compelling performance despite the film’s mixed critical reception.
Joining Lily Collins, the supporting cast also boasts some notable talent, with Jamie Campbell Bower (Stranger Things Vecnna anyone?) portraying Jace Wayland, another Shadowhunter who becomes Clary’s love interest, and Robert Sheehan providing the comic relief as Simon Lewis, Clary’s best friend.
Additionally, the film features Lena Headey of Game of Thrones fame as Clary’s mother and Jared Harris as the Shadowhunters’ tutor, Hodge Starkweather. Despite the story’s fantastical elements, the cast grounds the narrative with their sincere performances.
At its core, The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones is a coming-of-age story wrapped in a supernatural shell. Directed by Harald Zwart, the film infuses elements of fantasy, action, and romance, resulting in a somewhat uneven tone.
However, its strengths lie in its imaginative world-building and the compelling relationships between its characters. While the film may not have garnered unanimous critical acclaim, it has since gained a cult following of fans who appreciate its unique take on the supernatural teen genre.
The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones earned only $95 million at the box office and the sequel was scrapped
In terms of box office success, the film didn’t exactly set the world on fire. It pulled in a worldwide gross of approximately $95 million against a budget of $60 million, leading plans for a cinematic sequel (City of Ashes) to be ultimately scrapped. However, the franchise found new life in the form of the TV series Shadowhunters, which aired on Freeform from 2016 to 2019.
Lily Collins Has A Growing Hollywood Career
For Lily Collins, The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones was a pivotal moment in her career, marking her first leading role in a major franchise. Collins began her acting journey with roles in The Blind Side and Mirror Mirror before stepping into Clary Fray’s demon-hunting boots.
Despite the film’s lukewarm reception, Collins’s performance was generally well-received, laying the groundwork for a successful career that has seen her tackling a variety of roles.
Collins continued her rise to stardom with performances in critically acclaimed films like Okja and Tolkien, showcasing her range and versatility. She then charmed audiences worldwide with her role as Emily Cooper in the Netflix series Emily in Paris, earning a Golden Globe nomination for her performance.
Lily Collins will star in MaxXxine and Halo of Stars in the near future
Coming up, Lily Collins has a number of different productions in the works. She’ll have a role in MaxXxine, the finale of the X trilogy starring Mia Goth. And she’s also set to star opposite Lukas Haas in Halo of Stars. That will have her as part of a traveling circus.
There’s also Titan and The Accomplice which are both in pre-production. With the actor’s strike still going, it’s unclear about the timelines of some of these movies.
If you’re in the mood for a fantasy, action-packed teen drama, or if you’re a Lily Collins fan eager to dive into her filmography, The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones is currently streaming on Netflix. Despite its flaws, the film provides an enjoyable, escapist viewing experience with some standout performances from its talented cast.