The Maze Runner (2014)

So sorry I’ve been away for so long! I’m a college student and it’s been finals season, but I JUST finished my LAST FINAL THANK YOU GOD so I’m finally freeeee! (Professor has given Chelsea a grade! Chelsea is FREE!)

I’m behind. I’ve watched 5 movies since I’ve been away (yeah that’s not a lot for how long it’s been but … finals.) So I’m starting with the most recent.

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The Maze Runner (2014)
 Dir. Wes Ball
 Writ. Noah Oppenheim, Grant Pierce Myers
 Stars: Dylan O'Brien, Kaya Scodelario, Will Poulter
 Rated PG-13
 113 mins.
 Action, Sci-Fi, Dystopia
 IMDB: 7.0

Alright. Where to start? It’s been a long time since I did one of these so I’m pretty sure the best place to start is at my general opinion:

It’s worth watching.

I had no interest in really watching this movie when it came out. I’m not into the child/teen based dystopian genre and it’s not that I won’t give a movie a SHOT, I just know that I likely won’t be that into it. I also saw that it had basically ‘utter crap’ to ‘meh’ reviews across the board, which made me less inspired to watch it. However, a LOT of my friends loved this so I figured I may as well watch it, even if a lot of them only went to see this one because A) the teen dystopian genre is popular, and B) Dylan O’Brien is the star.

I admit, if Dylan O’Brien hadn’t been the star, I wouldn’t have watched this the other night. I know he’s a great actor because for the 3 seasons I watched Teen Wolf (If you don’t watch it… don’t bother. It’s really bad.) he was the main reason I didn’t quit after the first 2 episodes. (He’s not the only good actor on that show, there are a few others, but it’s a terrible show and his acting is the most exceptional). He’s a GREAT actor and, once again, in this movie he kills it. Definitely the best actor they could’ve got to play the part of Thomas.

The movie follows Thomas, the main character of The Maze Runner, who is one of many boys who woke up in a cage in the middle of a small area the guys call The Glade in the middle of a giant maze. Every day the select few of them called Runners go out and run the maze that they’ve been mapping for the past 3 years… until Thomas shows up and things go bad.

I’ll leave the rest a mystery for those who haven’t watched it.

I have to say, the movie has its merits. The acting of a few particular characters is REALLY good. Dylan O’Brien isn’t the only good talent in this film. Blake Cooper as Chuck is particularly awesome. And Will Coulter makes an amazing bad guy, especially since he looks like Sid from Toy Story and it makes him even more believably bad. Aml Ameen is really amazing as Alby, I have to say. So all around, the cast is full of pretty good actors.

As far as the plot goes, I’d say the IDEA is good, but it’s so rushed feeling. I realize it’s based on a book and a lot of people focus on ‘the book was better’ but I’m on the boat with  Desmond and Hawkes when they say, “Comparing source with adaptation is like comparing apples and oranges: they will never be identical or even be systematically or structurally alike.” Usually, I pretend the book never existed when watching an adaptation, and for this one, I’ve got the upper hand because I haven’t READ the books…. that said, I think this is probably a bad adaptation, based on the fact that, because I haven’t read the books, EVERYTHING felt so rushed.

Other than Chuck, there wasn’t a single character I felt emotionally invested in besides Thomas. We don’t learn much about anybody’s personality besides Thomas. We have a general idea of Chuck and Minho and Alby, but not enough to care for anybody besides Chuck (because his scene with the little figurine gives us an emotional look into him as a character, not just as an adorable little buddy). The more we hear about the ‘history’ of The Glade, the more questions there are rather than answers considering the fact that (SPOILER ALERT) the movie ends with leaving the maze. The whole movie feels more like a collection of scenes rather than a complete narrative, so I was left feeling like only someone who read the book would have a better idea of the overall plot.

In the end, I think it’s definitely worth watching. It’s not a BAD movie. It’s just not the greatest. Someone who is more interested in the genre may like it better than me, but all in all it was enjoyable and I never felt BORED. I did cry at one point, so at least I was emotionally invested enough to FEEL the movie. I would say, if you’re curious about it, watch it. Just don’t buy it until you’re sure you like it.

My Rating: 6/10

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About J. Chelsea Williford

Student at Middle Georgia State University, writer, pop culture lover.
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