Good day to you ladies and gentlemen, it is film review time once again and now I am going to give you my thoughts on The Maze Runner. This is a film I’ve wanted to see for a while ever since the first trailer came out and the wait has been made even worse because of the ridiculous gap between the US and UK releases (stupid distribution bullshit). But anyways, I saw the film last night and I’m ready to pass judgement.
The story can be described as the following:
“The story follows Thomas, who awakens in a rusty elevator with no memory of who he is, only to learn he has been delivered to the middle of an intricate maze, along with a slew of other boys, who have been trying to find their way out of the ever-changing labyrinth — all while establishing a functioning society in what they call The Glade.”
I thought the story was pretty good for the most part. What I appreciated was that the marketing gave you an idea of what the film was going to be about, but didn’t ruin any of the key story elements and that is something I always appreciate about GOOD film trailers. The film centers around the themes of trust and survival and presents you with a few questions like:
- Do you stick to what you know or do you take a chance with something new?
- Who do you trust?
- Is this/that a good idea?
- When there is a conflict what side do you choose?
Those are just a few questions that this film presents for Thomas and the inhabitants of The Glade and to some degree, you as the viewer as well. While this film doesn’t do anything unfamiliar with the plot in terms of structure and the use of the main protagonist, it does at least present you with an interesting plot. I do like the whole ‘Lord of the Flies’ set-up going on with the boys at The Glades, while the situations are very different, there are a lot of similarities and I enjoyed seeing the boys being a makeshift family, living boy rules in a miniature society and helping each other out while never questioning their leader. While a lot of the mystery and intrigue is lost towards the latter half of the film it is well-established at the start with the maze itself by establishing the monsters inside, the fact that the maze changes shapes and no one has ever survived a night alone outside of The Glades. There are a lot of moments of tension not only among the boys, but also once pieces of the mystery behind the maze slowly started to be revealed. I feel like some of the plot elements were a bit convenient, there are also a good few people that don’t get enough screen time to be relevant and the pacing was a bit questionable at points but those are only minor nitpicks.
When it comes to the cast they were pretty good for the most part with some sticking out more so than others. Dylan O’Brien was pretty as Thomas, the protagonist. Thomas is special, that is made apparent from the beginning and he is always questioning things and wants to escape and while his need for answers can be a little annoying, at least he is there to do something about the boys current situation. O’Brien reminded me a lot of Logan Lerman and that was a very distracting factor throughout my viewing of this film, but I do believe he did a great job in the title role, he was very energetic and believable and I think this is a great starting point for him to find himself in more films later in his career. Aml Ameen as Alby was pretty good, he is the leader of the Gladers, people look to him because he help establish the society they live in and looks out for his men, he is an all-round great guy, but he also isn’t above making tough decisions. Ameen was very good in this role and was one of my favourite people in the film. Thomas Brodie-Sangster as Newt was definitely one of my favourites for sure. He was second in command and while he follows Aml’s lead he also makes some major decisions and has Thomas’ back in tough situations. Sangster was very charming, funny and courageous in this role, and I’m just happy to see my man from Game of Thrones in a film in the cinema.
Will Poulter gave another one of the stronger performances as Gally, he is pretty much The Glade’s muscle man and instantly takes a disliking to Thomas and blames future actions on him. While the guy is a bit of a jerk, you do have to agree with him on a few points because he does ask a lot of the relevant questions. Poulter has come a long way from those days in that Narnia film, he was bloody good and intimidating in the role. Ki Hong Lee was another good person as Minho, he was the main Runner and has a pretty big history with the maze. Blake Cooper was probably my surprise favourite as Chuck, he was the youngest of the boys in The Glades and his friendship with Thomas is one of the nicer, subtle moments in the film. Cooper was cute and hilarious and was one of the main aspects of why I liked the characters in this film. Kaya Scodelario as Teresa was disappointing, from the way the trailers were going, it made her seem she was going to be an integral part of the film, but apparently not as she is one of the least compelling people there. Dexter Darden as Frypan, and Jacob Latimore as Jeff are fine, but hardly worth mentioning. And finally Patricia Clarkson as Ava Paige, she was pretty good. As soon as I saw her face in my head, I was like “Oh my god, it’s Tammy 1 from Parks and Recreation!” And if anyone watches that show the similarities are noticeable.
In conclusion The Maze Runner is a very good film filled with action, mystery and intrigue throughout. The main cast is solid, especially Logan Lerman and I was surprised by how much I liked the film. Now, while there were a few nitpicks I had here and there, as a person who never read the source material, I am interested to see where this new series of films will go.
So what did you think of The Maze Runner? Was it your cup of tea or not and if you read the book how do you feel the film compares to the source material? Whatever your thoughts are be sure to drop them below and let me know. Until the next time, see ya later! 😀