“So this looked kind of cool, and I had passes for a sneak so yay. Kid wakes up in a mysterious Lord of the Flies-esque community, where a group of boys have been living for the past three years, as each have arrived one by one. No one remembers anything before arriving in the glade, which is surrounded by a giant maze. Every day, runners go into the maze, trying to find a way out. Every night, they run back home to their shelter of the glade, lest they fall victim to the maze and it’s creatures. The Lost meets Hunger Games vibe it gave off had me intrigued. I’m a sucker for a good mystery of this style.
Because I was so curious to find out what was going on, I did find it rather frustrating (not unlike watching Lost actually). So slow to draw out answers, answers that may not be completely satisfying. The film also felt very thin. I may not have read the YA novels this is based on, but I have seen plenty of other movies based on books I have read, and I can always tell when they’re trying to stretch their material. What may have taken pages and pages of description is shown on screen in seconds, making it hard to fill the gaps and connect the story in an engaging way. I felt like something was missing. Some magic, some description, some backstory. It made me want to consult the books to see what that something was, but at the same time I didn’t really care enough to want to make that effort.
But I don’t mean to be so negative about it. I actually did enjoy the film. Again, the mystery of the maze is something that’s right up my alley, and anything our characters learned was never enough for me. I wanted more. I may be a lil immune to light suspense, but the random girl sitting next to me wasn’t. She was screaming and jumping in her seat everytime something happened. It does help that we were in a “”premium”” theater (or whatever they wanna call them) with the super slick HD screen and really good sound system. The creaks and groans of the mechanisms and gears sounded really cool and really close.
Was digging some of the cast too. I’m still not too sure how I felt about our lead characters (and oh my God did this fail the Bechdel test badly), but I was all about our supports. Through the whole film, it was bugging me that I couldn’t remember Will Poulter’s name. All I could come up with were the names of the characters he’s previously played that i know him for. He was my favorite to watch. A really strong presence in his role of reluctanct antagonism and leadership. After the film, my movie buddy turned to me and asked “”I know it’s not your kind of movie…but have you seen Love Actually?”” “”Yes. Yes, that was the kid”” Referring, of course, to the charismatic Thomas Brodie-Sangster, another one I kept my eye on the whole time.
Not a perfect movie by any means, and no way of knowing if it’ll gain enough traction to continue the series on the big screen, but it was an enjoyable time. There certainly were enough positives to outweigh the negatives, and while the YA trend and feel may not be anything new, the story felt like it was. Or at least it was different enough to stand out from anything else I’ve seen lately.
The Maze Runner – \m/ \m/ \m/”