A series of film reviews and opinion pieces from a film student and all round movie lover! Happy reading!
“You’re not like the others. You’re different”: a phrase that could summarise any protagonist from the new trend of teen-based dystopian book adaptations split into 20,000 different filmic instalments.
The “Harry Potter”, “Twilight”, “Hunger Games” generation has grown accustomed to the weekly instalment of film adaptations of any moderately successful teen-oriented book series, and there comes a time where it must be said, they’re all the same! Granted, what some pictures have grown to become is something entertaining and fun, but when deconstructing these relatively formulaic money-making schemes, it’s not difficult to draw a solid comparison between them all.
“The Maze Runner” is the first instalment of a trilogy of young-adult post-apocalyptic novels (excluding the prequel) that of course, is about a dystopian world in which teenagers are set a series of challenges in order to survive. Waking in an escalating elevator, Thomas discovers himself trapped in an unfamiliar world inhabited by fellow young-adults with the same problem; they have no memory of a life they lived before.
The world in which they occupy is bordered by an enormous maze that appears inescapable. Naturally curious and overly audacious, Thomas jumps the gun on several occasions, eager to explore the unknown and dangerous outskirts of their surroundings, and it is only until he does so that things change around the group like never before.
The arrival of a female also throws a cat amongst the pigeons, especially when she announces her memory of Thomas.
“The Maze Runner” wasn’t a disaster, in fact, I found myself being quite invested in the picture for the most part. The dialogue and establishment of plot, location, characters and motives was a tad expositional, but with the overly complicated euphemistic maze jargon on show, exposition was probably a necessity.
There are ‘Runners’; those who explore the maze during daylight, ‘Grievers’; deadly beasts that lurk in the maze at night time, ‘The Glade’; the home of these youths, ‘Gladers’; those who inhabit the glade, ‘The Box’; the elevate that delivers a new teen every month and so on…
For a film that wasn’t surrounded by much anticipation or excitement, “The Maze Runner” did not disappoint, but it didn’t really overly impress me either. The first few acts were quite well crafted, and the action sequences were quite suspenseful too.
The final act on the other hand, was something else – concluding with the most shameless hint at a sequel in recent memory (and I know, there are more books in the series), “The Maze Runner” finished so painfully, it dampened the entire story leading up to that final blunder of a unnecessary line.
All in all, “The Maze Runner” was everything I was expecting and possibly a little more. It wasn’t excellent, it wasn’t great, it was simply ‘alright’, to put it bluntly. Solid performances all round made for a better experience, and as previously stated, some action sequences were surprisingly tense. The sequel setup was simply pitiful though, and it really made me leave the theatre huffing and thinking “why?!”.
And if you’re wondering, no, there are magical glowing goblets in the maze, although, like Potter, the maze is somewhere you’d rather not be…