The Maze Runner Review

Thousands of girls have swooned at the sight of actor Dylan O’Brien in dingy clothes fighting off Grievers and getting sweaty in the hit box office movie The Maze Runner.

Based on its novel, this dystopian thriller was released on September 19 and has since made over $85,000,000 in theaters.

The story follows Thomas, one of many boys designated by World in Catastrophe: Killzone Experiment Department (W.C.K.D.) to be trapped within a gigantic maze as part of a test. Thomas wakes up in a caged elevator, remembering nothing but his first name and a few images of a past life. This colossal maze shuts and re-arranges itself every night, leaving its victims at a loss to the path to freedom. Living within the maze’s walls, Grievers, large mechanical spiders that kill humans on sight, pounce at nightfall — when the maze rearranges itself — to attack anyone within reach.

As Thomas soon discovers, only a few of his peers — known as maze runners — have ever been outside the walls blocking them from the maze entrance. Not many know what a Griever looks like, and nobody has ever lived through an attack. Intrigued by the outside world, Thomas finds himself longing to explore and “run” the maze with the other maze runners. When an opportunity eventually presents itself to Thomas, he makes a go for it. Right before the maze walls close off for their nightly rearrangement, Thomas slides through to the other side in order to join and save two of his peers. That night, the three of them become the first people to ever survive a night in the maze and Thomas becomes the first person to kill a Griever.

[one_third]Although many Maze Runner book fans are disappointed by several differences between the novel and the movie, many agree that the actors carried the film to its box office success.[/one_third]

Over the course of the next few weeks, Thomas and other runners further explore and finally discover a way out of the maze that has trapped them for over two years. In spite of opposition from some of his peers, Thomas leads a large group of his companions to the exit of the maze where they find a technologically advanced room with many dead bodies and glowing screens. Thomas and the only girl ever sent into the maze remember this place as the control room, where workers would observe those trapped in the maze as if they were laboratory mice. A video left by the presumed leader of this experiment reveals that Thomas and everyone else in the maze were put there as a test to see if they could survive in the real world, which has been destroyed by an apocalypse and a disease called “The Flare.” After the video ends, Thomas and the rest of the maze survivors are ushered off by masked adults into a helicopter that flies over the “real world.” The movie ends with a scene of a woman from the video standing up and saying, “Let’s begin phase two.”

Although many Maze Runner book fans are disappointed by several differences between the novel and the movie, many agree that the actors carried the film to its box office success. I’ll admit that I was more interested in watching Dylan O’Brien, Thomas Sangster, and Ki-Hong Lee act than following the plot of the story. That’s not to say that the storyline wasn’t interesting; it just didn’t keep reeling me in. The movie dragged on at times when it could’ve been getting to the action faster and showing more “gasp worthy” material.

The beginning and ending of the movie are what really got me. I was immediately drawn in at the opening scene where Thomas (O’Brien) appears with a lost and innocent demeanor. However, I was confused by the way other characters, like Gally (Will Poulty) acted around Thomas. I wasn’t sure if everyone was his friend or a secret enemy. I also felt like there wasn’t enough background information about what Grievers are, how and when they attacked, and the effects of their bite.

As the movie continued, some of my questions were answered, but I felt like I had to search for it. At the end of the film, I was satisfied to see the true meaning of the maze and a reference to a sequel. While lacking in some areas, Maze Runner is worthy of the hype and definitely a movie every teenager should see. I am excited to see whether or not the sequels will continue to keep me interested. The first sequel, The Maze Runner Chapter II: The Scorch Trials, will be released on September 18, 2015.

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