'The Maze Runner' is a film adaptation of the popular book series by James Dashner.
Thomas (Dylan O'Brien) wakes up to find himself in a moving cell and lands in the centre of a maze, surrounded by other boys called the Gladers. A group of them, called Runners, explore the maze every day to try and find a way out.
Trapped and with no memories, Thomas lives amongst the other boys in relative peace, but start raising questions, and when terrible things begin to happen, he is desperate to leave, even if it means going into the maze himself...
The film opens quickly, launching our protagonist straight into the glade but spends too long introducing the characters and the Gladers' way of life. We are already a third of the way through when Thomas first enters the Maze, and with it came a dozen questions, and they keep coming.
Who sent them there? What is WCKD?
Visually quite spectacular with some delicate imagery, the maze was cleverly conjured, though the intricacies and danger of the maze, especially the varying designs of the different zones could have been increasingly articulated.
Whilst the plot is interesting, it is hardly resolved and many trials are conveniently escaped or avoided, with the focus heavily placed on the character archetypes and personalities within the group. This is extremely interesting and gives rise to some strong performances from the young cast.
Nonetheless, 'The Maze Runner' offers some tense sequences as well as drama, and even a soft and emotional exchange between Thomas and Chuck. The intrigue of the boys' predicament and the overarching dystopian ideas permeate throughout the movie and keeps you engaged, though the lack of answers by the end leaves you slightly disappointed. However, a 'twist' sorts of make up for it.
Dylan O'Brien- Thomas
Kaya Scodelario- Teresa
Will Poulter- Gally
Ki Hong Lee- Minho
Thomas Brodie-Sangster- Newt
Patricia Clarkson- Ava Paige
As film adaptations go, 'The Maze Runner' is a strong offering directed by Wes Ball that has all the right ingredients for a blockbuster dystopian teen movie, that can hold its ground amongst others such as the Divergent series and The Hunger Games.
Though slow to start up and raises a million questions, the focus of character development and personality exploration over plot detail gives rise to strong performances from the young cast. Let's hope the sequel will offer more answers.
Until then, bring on 'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay'!