The Maze Runner

It has only been about five years since James Dashner wrote the novel “The Maze Runner.” The 2009 novel told the story of a slew of boys trying to escape a deadly maze. Now, director Wes Ball, has adapted this dystopian thriller for the big screen under the same name.

Dylan O'Brien in "The Maze Runner"

Dylan O’Brien in “The Maze Runner”

The movie is about a boy named Thomas (Dylan O’Brien) who wakes up, without his memory, in the middle of giant maze, an area called The Glade. He is greeted by a community of boys and soon learns they all have no clue why they are there. The only way out is through an ever-changing maze and Thomas takes it upon himself to find a way home.

“The Maze Runner” was exciting and engaging, something a lot of young adult novel adaptations are not. With the exception of “The Hunger Games,” this was the first adaptation I could get emotionally invested in. I was intrigued by the story, I enjoyed the actors and their characters, and I had a really fun time. It didn’t feel like another piece of unoriginal teen fiction. Though the movie isn’t the most original thing that has hit theaters this year, it was still an absolute blast.

The film doesn’t waste any time, launching you into the story within the matter of minutes. This, would set the pacing for the film that never slows down. The movie was constantly moving, it keeps giving you information to digest without over feeding you. Not once in the near two hour film did I check my watch, I was fully engaged with what was going on. From the intense action sequences in the maze to the simple dialogue between Thomas and the other boys, I never once felt bored.

Unlike the recent teen fiction adaptation, “The Giver”, this film offers charismatic characters that I was not only interested in, but invested in as well. For example, Will Poulter does a great job as he portrays a character who acts quite tough but may be more afraid then he lets on. O’Brien, the film’s lead, however, needs no help as he is able to balance the movie on his shoulders. It may not be the most spectacular performance, but he has some screen presence and is someone audiences can connect to.

My favorite aspect of the film, is how involved I felt watching it. It felt like I was by their side, trying to reveal this huge mystery with them. The movie cleverly kept me, and the audience, in the dark, making them as curious as their main character. The movie doesn’t let you watch from a far, it puts you in the Glade with these characters leaving you to figure out the mystery.

“The Maze Runner” was an enjoyable film that isn’t just for the “young adult” audience. It is engaging, fast paced, and should have you running to the theater.

3 out of 4 stars

-By Jacob Tiranno

In case you missed this week’s video review which includes reviews on Tusk, The Maze Runner, This Is Where I Leave You, and A Walk Among the Tombstones, here it is below:


One Response to The Maze Runner

  1. […] Runner: The Death Cure comes four years after the release of the initial film in the franchise. The Maze Runner opened in September of 2014, during the height of the young-adult (YA) craze, rivaling The Giver and […]

Leave a Reply