The Maze Runner is fresh, exciting


Used with permission by ShowBiz411

The boys who live in “The Glade”-the center of the maze-obverse the entrance as “runners” return from their daily trip.

Despite being ‘yet another’ dystopian film to appear on the big screens this year, The Maze Runner is surprisingly fresh and entertaining. A cross between Hunger Games and Stephen King, this movie features a group of boys trapped inside the center of a giant maze, with no memory of how they got there. Although ‘runners’ spend their days seeking an end to the labyrinth, there seems to be no hope for them until a new boy, Thomas (Dylan O’Brian), is included in the mysterious monthly delivery of supplies. With ‘grievers’ that stalk the maze by night becoming more aggressive and order breaking down, the boys must find a way out of the maze or perish.

The movie was surprisingly frightening and there were several moments that kept you on the edge of your seat. Grievers are not the scariest movie villains of all time, but when they are chasing the characters through a seemingly endless maze in the dark, the fear factor quickly increases. Beyond simple scary moments, the boy’s survival community is also dangerous and suspenseful, as they deal with both the terror of the maze and an uncertain power structure. The movie draws from stories like “Lord of the Flies” and plays off the idea of society quickly breaking down when faced with a threat.

However, the movie wasn’t all scares and typical dystopian action; there were several charming moments too. Chuck (Blake Cooper) acts as both a moral rock and comic relief for Thomas, while Newt (Thomas Brodie-Sangster) delivers some great dry commentary. In several scenes, the drama and action fall a bit short, making the movie just the right amount of cheesy. An anguished cry or dramatic fall inspires more giggles from the audience than gasps, which ruins the suspenseful mood but somehow makes the film that much more enjoyable.

There is only one major problem with the film: too many extras that exist only to reach an untimely and mostly unnoticed death. Only characters who have had more than three speaking lines (or thirty seconds of screen time) are mourned, even though the audience is informed that every death is terrible to the boys. People die in scores during ‘griever’ attacks, and later even the ones who heroically join Thomas on his quest to find a way out are sacrificed during fights. The main characters don’t say a word of regret for the lost lives, although when a non-extra dies, several minutes of the movie are spent mourning them.

Overall, The Maze Runner was a very enjoyable film and sets itself up well for a sequel. The action was fast-paced and there was never a large lull of boring explanations or background filling, ensuring that the audience is never bored. Although a little dramatic, the movie ranks among the best dystopian films of the last five years.