Rating: PG-13, for intense sequences of fantasy violence and action, and some suggestive content.
This fantasy franchise mashup is tween-tacular: It’s got angels and demons, vampires and werewolves, mysterious symbols and magic wands. There’s even a love triangle and some Star Wars-style sibling weirdness for good measure. What it does not have, though, is much sense or storytelling efficiency. Mortal Instruments is crammed with mythology and overloaded with effects-laden action sequences. It’s got plenty of fistfights, swordplay and supernatural frights — including some gooey, shapeshifting beasties which are truly disgusting — but very little actual blood spills as a result of all this violence. There’s also some very slightly suggestive flirty banter between our young heroine (Lily Collins) and the androgynous demon slayer (Jamie Campbell Bower) who becomes her protector. Although the film is overlong at two hours and 10 minutes, its content is suitable for the same audience as the young-adult book that inspired it.