This was actually one of my favourite films of the year and yet another Young Adult novel film adaptation – not necessarily a bad thing in this case, The Maze Runner was a great example of how to do an entertaining, gripping and suspenseful thriller. With a 99% a fairly good male cast and Kaya Scodelario, the film is well acted and the actors fit their roles quite well, I bought Dylan O Brien as Thomas, the confused but ambitious and curious new Maze kid, wanting to explore and eventually escape.
Where are the characters? In a seemingly random metallic maze in the middle of nowhere, though the boys live in a large open patch of land, including a forest, away from the dangers of the maze in the Greavers. The boys living together have formed their own functional society, with their own set of rules, treating each other fairly and they all get along, not going into the maze at all unless they are a runner. Specially designated strong and fast individuals who can traverse the maze during the daytime, the runners do their job to map out the maze, memorising it in the hope of eventually finding a way out, though they’ve been unsuccessful so far.
Also the maze itself constantly changes and adjusts itself at different times everyday, opening in the morning and closing towards the night.
Thomas coming into the group disrupts the balance quite a bit to say the least and seeing him being accepted by Newt, Chuck, Alby and rejected by some of the group, mainly in Gally was interesting to watch. As was seeing the group slowly splinter under differing opinions on Thomas and on trying to escape.
Things come to a head after Thomas decides to take it on himself to run into the maze, encountering a Greaver face to face and escaping from it, but he finds a potential way out as well. Though this brings more tension to the group, but a spanner is thrown into the works when a girl (Teresa) is brought up into the open land, the first girl in the group with a message of her ‘being the last one ever’. The last girl alive? The last ever shipment brought up to the group through the elevator? The group panics but eventually settles down with Teresa, though we don’t really get answers to those questions.
The group eventually divides after Alby, their leader get ‘the sickness’ from a Greaver. Gally tries to take leadership, getting Thomas locked up, though Later on the maze refuses to close, meaning the group is open to a Greaver attack, the group is split up as many of the boys get attacked and taken by the Greavers (somewhere).
Gally further blames Thomas for what’s happened so far and tries to get him banished but the group turns on him, everyone else then votes on whether they want to stay in the open land and maybe get attacked by Greavers again or risk going into the maze to find a way out. Quite a few of the group vote to go with Thomas, including the girl, Teresa, while the some of the others stay with Gally, the maze venturing group eventually making their way to a Greaver hive, I guess. Fighting a few Greavers along the way and losing a few people in the group, they do eventually escape the maze, coming across a video and explanation for the maze itself as being an experiment (gone wrong). Done to find strong children, though the group isn’t sure what to believe and you the viewer, aren’t either.
But Gally makes a random return, shooting the loveable Chuck before being killed himself, the group then encounters armed men who ‘rescue’ them from the maze facility, whisking them off in a helicopter to somewhere else and that was the rather abrupt ending.
I myself had never read the books beforehand so I went into it blind, not knowing exactly what to expect, which made the experience even better for me, as I found out things as the plot went along and I have to say I was gripped the whole way through. Not knowing how exactly the group would escape the maze if at all, seeing how everyone reacted to the situation at hand and to each other, knowing they wanted to escape the maze but completely doubting they could
It was a young adult story taken on really well in my opinion, a story not bogged down by a love triangle, excessive slow motion or some of the other clichés we’ve come to find in the genre, the ending was arguably again, cliché but it piqued my interest and I can’t wait to see the sequel.
. Great sense of intrigue and mystery around the maze itself
. No sloppy love triangle or too much romance to slow the plot down
. The actors fit their roles well, believable performances