Maze Runner Speeds Past Expectations

Maze Runner Speeds Past Expectations

Garrett Wheeler, Opinions Editor

Oh look. Another movie based off of an angsty teen fantasy book. This movie is based on the book of the same name by James Dashner. From how I take it, the book is probably supposed to be a dark, gritty, and even disturbing story. The movie manages to execute the same, in a surprisingly good execution.

The Maze Runner stars Dylan O’Brien as Thomas, Kaya Scodelario and Teresa, Will Poulter as Gally, Thomas Brodie-Sangster as Newt, and many other people you’ve probably never heard of. In the movie, Thomas is sent to a place where a whole bunch of misfit teen guys lives after his memory is erased. He then learns that every person in this group is trapped in the direct center of the maze with no hope for escape. Thomas must join with the “runners,” who are the members of the group that search the maze for a way out, to try and escape this labyrinth of terror and also discover the secret to why everyone is there in the first place.

The plot for this movie is really clever. I like how it’s essentially a survival story with this huge maze as the threat with lots of unpredictable secrets inside. The plot does a good job giving the viewer lots of twists and turns and still leaving a lot of the information shrouded in mystery. It gives the viewer a lot of room to process what actually happened.

That’s not to say that this story has its clichés, which it totally does. You have multiple elements that you’ve seen in these types of movies. For example; the dystopian society, the “district” style place that the main character lives in, the goofy character names, the threatening leader guy, the best friend type, and a few others that I’m not going to say because spoilers happen.

One of the things I liked about this movie was that it didn’t rely on action to sell itself. It’s easy to tell that this movie is very focused on telling the story and the world that they’ve created. That being said, there are some moments where it feels like the storie’s starting to drag. It makes the movie feel a little longer than it really is. Maybe if they cut a few scenes by about a couple of minutes then it would be perfect.

However, when action does happen, things go down. It is so intense! It’s very fast paced, brutal, and all around just exciting to watch. The only thing that hurts the action scenes are its use of shaky-cam. There are some scenes where I couldn’t see what was going on at all because the camera man was having an arm spasm while holding the camera. Luckily, it isn’t in the whole movie, but when it is, it can be pretty annoying.

This community the director sets up is great. Almost everyone is just so likeable. It’s like they are all a family. And they’re all acted well. There’s even a kid in this movie that did a good job. Yes, a kid. A kid who’s, like, twelve. A twelve year old who did good at acting. I know, shocking right?

The only problem with the characters is that they lacked depth. Almost all of them, except for the main character, had very little character development and most of them didn’t have much of a differentiating personality. It’s disappointing, because as a whole, the characters are so likeable! I just wish they were a little bit more interesting.

The most impressive thing about this movie is the visuals. This movie looks stunning! The land that the group lives on is absolutely beautiful while the inside of the maze look murky, disturbing, brooding, and all around unsettling. And the Reapers are terrifying too. They’re like the spiders from the Lord of the Rings trilogy except half robot. If that doesn’t sound awesome, then I don’t know what does. So yeah, the visuals impressed me.

The Maze Runner is a very dark movie that leaves a lot of mystery kept within its story. It’s almost as if they’re trying to set up a sequel or something hint hint. Now, this movie is probably not going to be for anyone. If you’re not a fan of the “angsty teen fantasy” genre, then you probably won’t like it. If you are a fan of the genre, then this should be right up your alley. In comparison to Divergent and The Hunger Games, I think this movie is way better than Divergent, a little bit better than The Hunger Games, and not quite as good as Catching Fire. Whatever the case, The Maze Runner is definitely a movie worth going to the theaters to watch. Or should I say, “running” to the theaters to watch. I know, that was weak…

I give this movie a 7.5 out of 10. It’s definitely worth at least one viewing.