Lit-To-Flick: The Maze Runner (2014) Movie Review

The Maze Runner

The Maze Runner Cast

I finally went to the cinema to see The Maze Runner! Better late than never, I guess. I thought it only appropriate to dedicate my time watching this movie as I wrote a review on the novel only a couple of months ago which you can read HERE.

Based on James Dashner’s novel or the same name, the plot follows Thomas as he wakes up disorientated, remembering nothing but his name. He wakens to find himself surrounded by other boys who ominously call themselves “The Gladers” and are trapped by huge walls which are actually the outskirts of a gigantic maze. For the past three years, the boys have dedicated themselves in creating a mini society and attempting to solve the maze in a bid to escape with little success. That is until the arrival, of Thomas (Dylan O’brien) who uses his intuition to help the boys escape.

If you have read my book review, you’ll know that one of my major issues with the book is that there is little balance between the pacing of action and drama. This is where the screenplay suffers too; At times there’s a little too much EXPLAINING rather than showing. Explaining how the boys got in the maze, explaining who people are and this made the movie feel slow and a tiny bit tedious. However, when the action was there, it was brilliant, gripping and thrilling. There were moments where the film felt a little like a horror which was refreshing for a young adult movie.

O’brien, who plays lead role Thomas, was average at best. However it was Kaya Scodelario and Aml Ameen who play the supporting Teresa and Alby respectively who really caught my eye in the small time they were on screen. Scodelario brought that ferocity she brings to every role and Ameen brought a surprising amount of depth that hadn’t been shown by any of the other characters. Unfortunately, the movie is often let down by the appearance of “grievers” who are monster, robotic hybrids that threaten to destroy the safe haven the boys have created by killing every single one of them. The visual effects of these creatures could have been improved and a little more creative rather than imitating monsters from movies like The War of the Worlds or Super 8. Another of the few things I do have to whine about though is the ending; unfortunately, in a similar fashion to Divergent and The Hunger Games movies, the ending of this movie offers no closure , merely wanting the audience to return to the theatres to buy tickets for the next instalment.  In a sense, this ruins any sort of emotional or character development.

All in all however, I’m surprised at how well this novel has been translated onto the screen. Despite the fact that the movie created more questions than answering them, I’ll be excited to see the next instalments which will hopefully contain more thrills and action sequences.

My verdict: 7.0/10

Based on: The Maze Runner by James Dashner

Screenplay by: Noah Oppenheim, Grant Pierce Myer, T.S. Nowlin

Directed by: Wes Ball

Starring: Dylan O’brien, Kaya Scodelario, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Will Poutler and Patricia Clarkson4

 

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