Movie Review: The Maze Runner

the maze runnerA trapped civilization of young men struggling to survive against the odds whilst escaping imprisonment could be a thrilling piece of moving artwork. The fear of possible death but the willingness to face it regardless of the consequences could be a catalyst for the viewers to really connect with the characters, leaving them at the edges of their seats. But then, a movie like “The Maze Runner” will make you realize how lackluster a plotline like that can really be.

            “The Maze Runner” follows a boy named Thomas played by Dylan O’Brien (nicknamed Greeny) who is the latest member of a forced civilization. Thomas along with a few dozen young men have been trapped in the center of an enormous maze, and from the very beginning, it is clear that there is no chance of escape. On top of this, everyone’s memories have been erased and no one remembers anything about themselves. After a day or two they remember their names, but other than that, their history begins when they enter the maze.

The others have been in the maze throughout a three-year period, but after only three days, Thomas has already disrupted the delicate way of life to which these boys are accustomed. Primarily, the maze is dangerous and unknown to the civilization therefore, only a small, elite group called Runners are allowed in the maze to search for a way out. However, when Thomas sees his friend unconscious and about to be trapped within the maze, he risks his life to save him.

This kind of serious rule-breaking did not go unnoticed. Gally, played by Will Poulter has a growing hatred for Thomas throughout the movie. Gally looks to the rules as the foundation of their way of life. Without the rules, they have nothing and for Thomas to go out of his way to break them doesn’t help anything. Meanwhile, the other boys are beginning to look to Thomas as a leader of sorts. Not only did he brave the maze with two others, he is also ruthlessly determined to find a way out and discover who he really is. This gets Gally even more upset with him, because he feels the others following Thomas will lead to the end of everything they know.

In addition, the first and only female, a girl named Teresa (played by Kaya Scodelario) is the next and last to be deposited into the group. She is also the person who seems to have previous memory of Thomas no one else has. This really cements Gally’s hatred for Thomas.

This is a really good film overall, however in the 113-minute movie, most if not all, of the first half of the movie takes place at the center of the maze. During this time, there is a strong setting of the scene, and the majority of the character development begins. Most of the action and real adventure of the movie starts about halfway through. This movie may not be so in-depth, but would still attract an audience if it was half an hour shorter. It really takes awhile for things to set up and get going to the point that by the very end of the movie, where things really start to twist and turn, it’s almost as if you’ve waited until the very end to see the sequel.