The Maze Runner Movie Review & Giveaway
Despite being compared ceaselessly to The Hunger Games, The Maze Runner shares more story DNA with Lost, Cube and Lord of the Flies. Wes Ball’s film adaptation of James Dashner’s bestselling YA book is a visually compelling realization of the desperate survival tactics, complicated character dynamics and paranoia that make all of these stories so thrilling.
The Maze and the Glade are visually impressive and claustrophobia sets in immediately as we watch young kids trying to make some sort of society out of their prison-like existence.We’ve been fans of The Maze Runner book series for years and have been eagerly awaiting the film, and happily, it far exceeded our adaptation expectations. Here are a few reasons the movie succeeded:
Dylan O’Brien leads the acting pack with his strong, nuanced performance as Thomas. Other standouts include Aml Ameen as the Glade leader Alby, Will Poulter as antagonist Gally, Ki Hong Lee as the leader of the Runners, Minho, and Kaya Scodelario as the only Glader Girl, Teresa. With a group survival story like this, you need to have a strong ensemble cast and happily, there was no weak link in the Glade.
Wes Ball’s background in visual effects is apparent particularly in the thrilling action sequences that have the maze shifting and rearranging itself around the runners, and Grievers terrorizing the Gladers. It high octane, popcorn-munching fun.
Wes Ball’s visuals for the Maze and the Grievers are terrifying and, the film has a distinctly horror movie feel. There are so many questions and mysteries that arise as new stimuli are provide for the Gladers, and it is thrilling to try to figure out the whys and predict what will happen next.
Lack of Romance
As a longtime YA reader and film adaptation moviegoer, I can say that I am an expert at this point in the love triangle of doom, and also the implausible romance under duress. Sure it’s fun every now and then to see two bedraggled action characters fall for each other in between explosions and CGI monsters, but it was SO nice in The Maze Runner to see Thomas and Teresa try to survive the Maze without getting in each other’s pants. To hear the cast discuss their own thoughts on the romance, head over here.
Room for More
Maybe it’s a bold move to end a movie with such little resolution, dropping a huge revelation that still somehow leaves all the answers to be revealed just around the corner in a sequel (total Lost season finale style). Luckily it appears The Scorch Trials film adaptation is going to happen. I for one couldn’t be happier that this looks poised to be another successful YA franchise.
There is a serious lack of Teresa in the film version, and taking away Thomas and Teresa’s psychic connection probably contributed somewhat to that. I hope Kaya Scodelario gets more screen time in the sequel. The final action sequence isn’t quite the Griever pile on I was expecting, but given how much larger and terrifying they are in the movie than in my imagination, it’s the only plausible Griever v. Glader setup, I suppose.
Overall, I couldn’t be happier with The Maze Runner and highly recommend it to fans of the book or anyone who loves a good dystopian thriller. Make sure to check out our interview with The Maze Runner cast over here!
Watch the trailer:
Thanks to the folks at Random House Children’s Books, we have a Maze Runner prize pack including a copy of the movie tie-in edition of The Maze Runner, and Inside The Maze Runner: The Guide to the Glade. Just enter via the Rafflecopter below (Us/Canada entries only please).
a Rafflecopter giveaway