“The Maze Runner” is based on the best-selling young adult novel by James Dashner. Like so many movies before it, it is distinctly about a dystopian future, think along the lines of “The Hunger Games” and “Divergent”, although that is not revealed until the end of the movie. Like many movies based on books, “The Maze Runner” does not always accurately reflect the book that it is based off of. That’s probably to be expected, it’s rare these days that a movie really encapsulates the book it is based on.
Directed by Wes Ball, “The Maze Runner” features a young, primarily male, cast. Dylan O’Brien (Teen Wolf), Thomas Brodie-Sangster (Love Actually, Game of Thrones), Will Poulter (We’re the Millers), and Kaya Scodelario (Skins) all take main roles in the film. Their acting is certainly not where the film is lacking and they bring the characters to life.
The beginning of the movie begins with Thomas (Dylan O’Brien) being brought up into a large field, which he later learns is called the Glade by the boys who live there, in a service elevator with no memories of what has happened to him. Thomas is quickly taught the ways of the Glade by Alby, the boy in charge. The Glade is occupied by a large group of teenage boys, who do not behave in the way that teenage boys would usually behave. They subsist on supplies from the service elevator and what they can harvest and make from the Glade. The Glade is surrounded by a huge maze filled with strange creatures called Grievers. To top all of that off, there is apparently no way out of the maze, even though they have been searching for the three years that they have been there. Thomas, of course, causes problems in the Glade. He’s too curious and wants to leave a little too much. There’s a lot of tension between him and the other boys. Thomas has flashbacks from before he was in the Glade. These flashbacks are not cinematically well done. They are a bit confusing, granted they are supposed to be, but they could have added more to the story, instead of taking away from it.
A group of teenage boys being stuck together is a situation that’s reminiscent of “Lord of the Flies.” However, this group of boys does not really react in a way that would be expected of a group of teenagers being stuck together in one place. Instead, some of their interactions seemed forced and perhaps a little unrealistic. There has never been serious violence within the Glade and they are all seemingly unscarred by the fact that there are people that go into the maze and never return. The fact that some of the boys do not want to leave the Glade is also questionable, because not many people want to stay stuck in a place that they do not know anything about.
All of the plot technicalities aside, “The Maze Runner” has almost non-stop action, so it is great for action lovers. The special effects are well done, like most movies these days. The acting is good, the actors play their parts well. Even if the premise of the story is an overdone plot, it is worth the watch if only for the cast and the action.