Saturday, September 13, 2014

The Maze Runner
Releases September 19th, 2014
1 hr 53 mins
Rated PG-13
Action/Adventure, Sci-Fi/Fantasy


Director: Wes Ball

Dylan O'Brien as Thomas
Thomas Brodie-Sangster as Newt
Kaya Scodelario as Teresa Agnes
Will Poulter as Gally
Ki Hong Lee as Minho
Blake Cooper as Chuck
Aml Ameen as Alby
Alexander Flores as Winston
Jacob Latimore as Jeff 
Chris Sheffield as Ben
Dexter Darden as Frypan
Randall D. Cunningham as Clint
Joe Adler as Zart
Patricia Clarkson as Chancellor Ava Paige

Review by Stephen M.

The Maze Runner immediately brings you back to the days of reading Lord of the Flies in middle school.  But unlike Jack and the rest of the boys in the classic novel, Alby (Aml Ameen) as the first boy in the "Glades" has his group and structure well put together.  We learn that it wasn't always this way.  The "Glades" is where about once a month a boy is sent up through an elevator to the top in a mostly cleared area with some trees surrounded by a large dynamic maze.

The story focuses on Thomas (Dylan O'Brien) as he comes up the elevator disoriented and with a memory loss as they all do.  He is immediately curious about what's in the maze and beyond, and learns from the noise at night that they're filled with Grievers, spider-like monsters with a sting that slowly kills you but can restore your memory.  Thankfully, the Glades is protected at night with the walls to the maze sealed each night.  That changes however when a girl comes up through the elevator that Thomas remembers from his dreams despite not knowing her.  She clutches a note with her that she is the last one ever and from there, things go south.

While I liked the overall premise of the show and most of the actors, it's hard to take the film serious despite the dire consequences that the Glades' occupants find themselves in.  For some, perhaps it adds to the "fun" of the film, which it definitely does, but is that what the filmmakers intended?  As well despite having numerous twists in the film, the plot is overall very straight forward which is good but actually quite predictable.  From beginning to end, there's a sense of a conspiracy involved, trying to lead you so to find out like Thomas, just what is exactly going on.  The explanations are quite ridiculous, and the kids not realizing the set up when there are so many holes is quite preposterous.

Overall, I would recommend catching a matinee of the film, as it deserves to be caught on a big screen given the numerous action scenes involving the Grievers.  As well, I thoroughly enjoyed the acting of Dylan O'Brien as Thomas and Ki Hong Lee as his fellow maze runner Minho.  Will Poulter as Gally, a kind of enforcer of the camp is either the star of the film or a running joke depending on how you look at it.  I have never read the book so cannot compare it to the book.  Given the ending though and my overall feelings of the movie, I am not in a hurry to read the book or see the sequel.  Perhaps my expectations were too high going into the film given the trailer. What did you think of the film?


Tagged: , , , , ,