About four years ago I had to pick my dreaded summer reading book for high school. One of the four that peaked my interest was the book called The Maze Runner. It sounded suspenseful, and actiony, and exactly my kind of book. So knowing that this was a summer reading book i really didn't have very high hopes. But as it turns out I got completely sucked into it and read it within a few days.
The main story is that a boy, about 16 years old, arrives at this unknown place called "The Glade" with no memories except for his name, Thomas. When he gets there, there are already about 50 or 60 other boys around his age in this place. "The Glade" is a place with stone covering the ground, with some grass and trees sprouting every so often, and a few hand-built wooden buildings for shelter. "The Glade" is surrounded by monstrous walls with huge doors, that open every morning and close every night, which lead into a what was thought to be an unsolvable maze. The maze changes every night, and there are people called "Runners" that go into it every day searching for a way out. Then a few days after Thomas, a girl arrives. She is the first girl ever to arrive at "The Glade" and in her hand is a note saying "She is the last one ever", and they believe it means that no more people are coming to "The Glade". So then the Gladers are forced to find a way out, or die trying.
After getting to the dreaded last page of the book, to my surprise, I read one line of huge text saying "END OF BOOK ONE". I was ecstatic! My new favorite book was just the first of a series! So of course I read the excerpt from the next book called The Scorch Trials and searched high and low for the book. I found it and sped through that one as well! Then at the end of that book I found out that there was going to be one last book in the trilogy called The Death Cure! I was so excited I could hardly wait those few months for the final book to come out!
After getting my heart torn out and laughing and having my eyes glued to the pages, I finally finished what may be my favorite book series yet. But as soon as I thought it was all over I found out that there was going to be a prequel and a movie based on the first book! I couldn't believe it! I thought that no one except for me even knew that these books existed, and now a major motion picture was being filmed! So I read the prequel called The Kill Order, and thought it was interesting, but the three original definitely trumped it.
Okay so now to the reason of this article, the movie itself. As I'm sure you know by now I absolutely love this trilogy and couldn't be happier to find out that a movie was coming out based on the first book. So of course I went to the "midnight", it was really at 10 pm, showing this past Thursday night. I was bouncing in my seat because I was so excited to see the words being put to life that I love so much.
I may have been a bit of a harsh critic because I had the perfect picture already set in my head, but the movie wasn't quite what I expected. Don't get me wrong, I loved it, and I loved that my favorite trilogy was finally getting the attention it deserved, but it just didn't seem quite right.
One huge thing that was missing from the plot was Thomas and Teresa's ability to have telepathic conversations throughout the majority of the time that Teresa is there. This does come into play a bit in the next two books, and it is kind of a big part. I understand it may have been a bit difficult to do this in a movie, but all that is really needed is some voice-overs right? I dunno, that just kind of bugged me.
One other thing that was very different from the book was that the "griever hole" was much different. It was just a hole in the wall behind some thick stone walls that moved, while in the book the "griever hole" is out over "the Cliff" which is a corridor of the maze that ends with an opening into the open sky. Then Thomas and Minho, the keeper of the runners, or the head runner, throw rocks into the open sky to try and find where these grievers keep disappearing to. It is invisible to the eye, but eventually one of the rocks they throw disappears into thin air. This is what the "griever hole" is like in the book, and is much different from the movie.
Also the movie was much darker than the book in my opinion. There were jump scares constantly, especially in the maze, and it was set at night quite a bit. The Maze Runner isn't supposed to be a scary book. It's just suspenseful and intense. I felt that it almost got the wrong point across at some parts. If I hadn't read the book or had any previous knowledge of the story I might have thought it was meant to be a bit of a horror/action movie.
In the book they spend quite a long time trying to crack the code that is the pattern of the maze. They eventually find six words that are spelled out in a bird's eye view. They then type these words into a computer to "kill" the maze and get out once and for all. But in the movie they just type in the pattern that the sectors open in every night. This was a huge part of the book, Thomas helps solve the maze, which is kind of the whole point of the test of the maze.
One somewhat minor thing that was changed in the movie was the scene when Chuck dies. They were supposed to be in an open room being watched by random people in suits that were behind glass. Then a woman comes in and congratulates them on surviving the test, and then reveals another person who walked in with her to be Gally. It is made obvious that he is not himself, and being controlled, but they still hate him nonetheless. Gally then pulls out a knife and hurls it at Thomas' chest. That is when it hits Chuck when he dives in front of him to save Thomas. It is certain that Chuck is dead, and Thomas then beats Gally unconscious. But in the movie the woman is thought to be dead, and so are the rest of the people who worked there, Gally shoots Chuck with a gun, and I believe either Newt or Minho throw a spear into his chest. It is unclear if he was supposed to be mind-controlled, or if he is really dead.
My last negative critique is about the serum that was used. These griever creatures sting the Gladers and if you don't take the serum after you get stung, you will die. But the whole idea in the book was that if you got back after being stung, then you would live because there was always serum that came with the supplies brought up every month with the new Glader. In the movie Teresa finds two vials of the serum in her pocket when she arrives. These save Thomas, and Alby, who is the leader of the Gladers. But this creates a major plot hole because another Glader named Gally hates Thomas because of what he saw in "the changing", which is what they call the healing process after getting the serum, people remember memories when they go through "the changing" and that is the whole reason that Gally hates Thomas. He thinks that Thomas is working for the people who put them all in "the Glade".
One thing I will say that is positive, is that the casting was absolutely perfect. Dylan O'Brian was a perfect Thomas, he was the perfect stature and played the part perfectly. Will Poulter was a great Gally, he had the perfect attitude towards Thomas and his ideas. Then there's Blake Cooper, I don't think that they could have found a closer Chuck, a little 13 year old who is Thomas' first friend in "the Glade", to what I imagined while reading. Aml Ameen was spot on for Alby, especially looks-wise. My favorite acting choice by far is definitely Thomas Brodie-Sangster though. He played Newt, who was the second in command to Alby, and a bit of a jokester. The choice of Kaya Scodelario for Teresa was definitely a good one as well. Her looks were spot on, and her attitude was great as well.
I also loved how accurate the setting was, apart from the griever hole, and the end scene for the most part. The Glade was nearly perfect apart from a few details, but overall it was pretty impressive. The other thing that was very accurate was the main part of the maze. It was so similar to how I pictured it with the huge walls, and the vines.
All in all I loved the movie, but it didn't quite live up to my expectations. I did have quite high expectations for it, so it might have been hard not to be disappointed by any little thing though.