The Maze Runner (2014) Film Review, a movie directed by Wes Ball, and starring Dylan O’Brien, Aml Ameen, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Will Poulter, Kaya Scodleario, Ki Hong Lee, Blake Cooper, and Patricia Clarkson.
The popularity of the dystopian genre is expanding as Hollywood tackles another franchise in James Dashner’s best selling novel The Maze Runner. Directed by new director Wes Ball, the film translates the beautiful scenery and design of the book to the big screen as it shows a story about survival.
Actor Dylan O’Brien portrays the movie’s main hero Thomas, who arrives in a community called the Glade with no memory of who he is and where he came from. Surrounded by in an isolated location with a group of boys in the same situation, Thomas learns how to fend for himself while learning his place in the group. Outside the Glade is a huge maze that changes overnight each day, so the group sends out the best athletes or “runners” to navigate through the maze to find a way out.
Thomas is led by Alby (Aml Ameen), the fearless leader of the group who helps him fit in with the group. Thomas eventually settles in with the rest of the group, which includes the second-in-command Newt (Thomas Brodie-Sangster), runner Minho (Ki Hong Lee), friendly kid Chuck (Blake Cooper), and the tough-as-nails Gally (Will Poulter). The story takes a sudden turn when a girl named Teresa (Kaya Scodelario) is sent to the Glade and has a mysterious connection with Thomas.
As the runners go through the maze, the place is always surrounded by Grievers, which are a bunch of biomechanical spiders that can sting a person making them delusional and kills them. By the end of the day, the door in the maze closes as it reconstructs itself for the next day. So whoever doesn’t make it back to the entrance gets stuck in the maze for the whole night. What makes It worse is fending off against the Grievers which is near to impossible. The runners have been at it for two years looking for a way out of the maze with no luck. With Thomas in the picture, he becomes curious for what’s out in the maze. However, Thomas and the Gladers have no idea what lies beyond and the answers they seek isn’t what they expect as the story’s layers start to open. As the team makes shocking discoveries, there will be a price to pay for going through the maze and beyond.
Director Wes Ball makes a good attempt for his first feature film since he’s been an expert in creating special effects and set designs. Wes does an amazing job fleshing out the world of The Maze Runner with the incredible designs of the maze along with the sinister Grievers. The film reminds you of Lord of the Files combined with the familiar blueprints of The Hunger Games. The only concern is that the movie focuses too much on getting from beginning to end without enough investment with the characters. The action sequences dominate the plot leaving little time for improvements. The ending also went like a rush without any time for a breather once the movie is over.
With Dylan’s portrayal as Thomas, viewers get to see him as the curious type who has an eye for adventure. The only female of the group, Tessa becomes more of a background in the story rather than an important piece to the mystery. Poulter basically stole the show with his depiction of Gally, the bully who becomes distressed of seeing Thomas change the community since his arrival. Minho and Newt play more of a supporting role in the film without revealing much on their background. Blake Cooper’s Chuck becomes the heart of the group who Thomas becomes good friends with. Patricia Clarkson’s Ava Paige became more of the villain in the background who becomes more prominent in the end as a way to expand her presence in the franchise.
So overall, the premise becomes intriguing to the viewer until the end as it becomes more predictable since viewers can guess that these boys are part of some kind of diabolical experiment that becomes more complex as soon as they get out of the maze. The film delves into similar ground like The Hunger Games and Divergent, but it becomes unique in a way by design rather than the story itself.
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