Better late than never I guess. I blame the UK and it's late release dates. Seriously someone needs to sort this problem out.
The Maze Runner is a an action-adventure film based on the novel by James Dashner. It centers around the character of Thomas and what happens to him when he is lifted into the Glade, a community of boys who are trapped in the middle of a maze. Memories erased and no way out, Thomas and the boys have one shot of escape, to explore the maze and face deadly creatures called Grievers.
So here we have the generic, protagonist arrives, doesn't know what's going on, things start to change, he is the key, blah blah blah plot line. Besides the intrigue of the maze and why they are there, this film is pretty standard. We are put into the main characters shoes because we are just as clueless as he is. We don't find out anything until Thomas does, which is a good way to explain the situation however, after a while it turned into a mass of 'what is this?' and other simple questions. Although this needed to be in the story, it got repetitive and the audience was fed too much at once. There was no longer mystery to this world.
As a fan of Dylan O'Brien, I knew his performance as Thomas would be nothing short of perfection. You want to root for this guy, he's the hero and he does this so well because he isn't afraid to show all of his colours. For once we have a male protagonist, I still love you Katniss and Tris, it's just good to see some range in these YA dystopian adaptations. If anyone could make Thomas a likeable character it's Dylan. Somehow all of actors give emotion and personality to these characters who are technically a blank slates. No background, no memories, just the maze and their places in it. Kaya Scodelario, who plays the only girl that is sent up just after Thomas, Teresa, didn't bring that much to her character, she was pretty bad ass but not much else.
I was surprised at how violent and vicious these characters were. Any sign of weakness or a Griever sting and you were gone. No second chances. It was refreshing to see that they were not trying to be clean for a wider audience range. See for yourself, put a bunch of boys in the middle of a maze for three years and the exact same thing will happen.
Luckily, I wasn't sat in my chair saying 'What's in the maze?' for too long. Within 20 minutes we are exploring this ever changing maze, finding the Grievers and escaping just in time. Some heart pounding action scenes that are fun to watch with your hands gripped to the chair. I say some because from what I can count there were three and that was not enough for me. Expecting a fake looking maze, I was surprised to see how wide scale and epic the special effects were. Falling buildings and monsters never looked so good, ah how I've missed the decent looking CGI (*cough* Transformers *cough*).
Unfortunately for the last 15 minutes of the film I had myself wishing it would cut to black at any moment. It could have been cut mid sentence and I wouldn't have cared as long as it ended. It felt too predictable and one of the last scenes just had me asking 'Why would you do that?'. Just tell us why they are there and cut it. I don't need you to fully set yourself up for a sequel. You're a young adult book adaptation, I know you're going to get a sequel at some point. Even the bad ones get sequels (*more coughing* Percy Jackson). I could have left 15 minutes before it ended and would have been satisfied.
A talented young cast, interesting concept and pretty cool CGI made an entertaining action movie. However, a maze full of secrets, that are too easily revealed doesn't leave much to the imagination. Minus the ending and plus more action, I would have given this movie a 4/5 stars, however it's going to have to be 2.5/5 stars. Sorry Dylan, I still love you.