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The Maze Runner

 
 
Film Information
 

Plot: Awaking with no memory a teenage boy must band together with his fellow prisoners to escape a deadly maze.
Release Date: Monday 9th February 2015
Format: DVD / Blu-ray / VOD
Director(s): Wes Ball
Cast: Will Poulter, Aml Ameen, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Kaya Scodelario, Dylan O'Brien, Ki Hong Lee and Patricia Clarkson
BBFC Certificate: 12A
Running Time: 113
Country Of Origin: USA | Canada | UK
Review By: Alex Moss
Genre: , ,
 
Film Rating
 
 
 
 
 
3/ 5


 

Bottom Line


A frustrating ending may prove worthwhile if the next installments can deliver on the hype created here. The Maze Runner doesn’t exactly sprint but does enough to make it to the finish line.


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Posted February 9, 2015 by

 
Film Review
 
 

Based on James Dashner’s novel The Maze Runner is the latest addition to the seemingly unstoppable genre of Young Adult adaptations. But while the likes of The Hunger Games and Divergent go to war with evil governments The Maze Runner has more in common with arguably the original young adult novel, William Golding’s The Lord Of The Flies.

With his memory erased Thomas (Dylan O’Brien) wakes up in “The Glade”; a patch of land surrounded by a seemingly impregnable maze and occupied only by young teenager boys. But with little answers being offered by the current residents of The Glade Thomas is determined to become a “Runner”; someone whose job it is to map the maze in order to find a way out. As his dreams of a mysterious girl Teresa (Kaya Scodelario) intensify so Thomas must break the established social order of the boys in order to find clues behind the mysteries of the maze.

Aiming for a more male audience than other Young Adult films The Maze Runner side-steps one key pitfall of other like minded films by not having a broody romance to get stuck on. Instead the film conjures an novel little mystery with enough interesting characters to keep the interest just about peaked.

But the issue arises from the fact this is the first part of a trilogy and as such any answers offered to the riddle of the maze only extend the mystery. It means that in this instance The Maze Runner is slightly frustrating, pulling you into a smartly crafted social experiment of a world before leaving you scratching your head as to what is to come.

That being said it’s a visually interesting piece with debut feature director Wes Ball putting his Art Department origins to very good use. The Maze itself is a wonderfully crafted Rubik cube of intrigue with the monsters within, called Grievers, a curious blend of organic bug combined with robotic appendages.

The cast all give you something to invest in with Scodelario bringing enough metal to mix it with her male co-stars and at times give them a run for their money. Game Of Thrones and Love Actually’s Thomas Brodie-Sangster is good in the role of reluctant leader and mentor to Thomas while Will Poulter is a little too bully-ish to be anything other than an obvious weak link in the community. But it is TV’s Teen Wolf star O’Brien who convinces as a potentially interesting leading man with an interesting combination of tough exterior and damaged soul.

A frustrating ending may prove worthwhile if the next installments can deliver on the hype created here. The Maze Runner doesn’t exactly sprint but does enough to make it to the finish line.


Alex Moss Editor

 
Alex Moss’ obsession with film began the moment he witnessed the Alien burst forth from John Hurt’s stomach. It was perhaps ill-advised to witness this aged 6 but much like the beast within Hurt, he became infected by a parasite called ‘Movies’. Rarely away from his computer or a big screen, as he muses on Cinematic Deities, Alex is “more machine now than man. His mind is twisted and evil”. Email: alex.moss@filmjuice.com


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