The Maze Runner – Movie Review
The Maze Runner – PG-13
Release Date: Fri 19 Sep 2014
The opening introduces us quickly to the mystery of the maze, as we learn along with our amnesiac protagonist Thomas about how things work. Once a month, an elevator loaded with supplies and a new boy is introduced into a central safe zone surrounded by a maze. At night the maze door closes and monsters kill everything within.
The introduction all the way through the first hour or so is extremely well-paced and acted. It feels like we’re figuring things out right alongside the characters. Dylan O’Brien and the rest of the young cast are all very good and there is a lot of depth in the performances that doesn’t quite match the somewhat simplified dialogue.
The Maze Runner is a movie adaptation that feels like it may have erred on the side of keeping as much of the book’s action as possible with the result being a somewhat frustrating film. Having not read the source material, I found it hard to continue once the amnesia element began to wear thin. Even after this is supposedly over, there’s still an incredible amount of unanswered questions for the characters that are partially spoiled for the audience by a final scene that sets up the next film. (Watch the entire video review if you want specifics – I don’t put spoilers in written reviews.)
Overall I enjoyed The Maze Runner, but the pacing problems toward the end and the final scene that the audience sees but the protagonist does not left me disappointed and feeling a little cheated. I made a comment earlier this year that someone watching The Fault In Our Stars that had not read the book might be baffled by its structure and length, and I think the same likely applies here. In this case I did not read the book prior to seeing the film and that likely colored my experience.
Aaron, Jeremiah, John A. and I saw it in the theater and has a discussion afterward in the car: