For this month’s next review for Genre Grandeur – Dystopian Movies, here’s a review of The Maze Runner (2014) by Darren of Movie Reviews 101
Thanks again to James of Back to the Viewer for choosing this month’s genre.
Next month’s Genre has been chosen by S.G. Liput of Rhyme and Reason. We will be reviewing our favorite fantasy/sci-fi animated movies (non-Disney or Pixar) . Please get me your submissions by 25th May by sending them to firstname.lastname@example.org Try to think out of the box! Great choice S.G.!
Let’s see what Darren thought of this movie:
The Maze Runner
Director: Wes Ball
Writer: Noah Oppenheim, Grant Pierce Myers, T.S. Nowlin (Screenplay) James Dashner (Novel)
Starring: Dylan O’Brien, Aml Ameen, Ki Hong Lee, Blake Cooper, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Will Poulter, Dexter Darden, Kaya Scodelario
Plot: Thomas is deposited in a community of boys after his memory is erased, soon learning they’re all trapped in a maze that will require him to join forces with fellow “runners” for a shot at escape.
There may be spoilers the rest of the review
Verdict: Beginning of Another Saga
Story: The Maze Runner starts by introducing us Thomas (O’Brien) as he makes his way up through the ground to the outskirts of the maze. The area is run by young adults and teenagers, Alby (Ameen) shows Thomas around including meeting the second in command Newt (Brodie-Sangster) teases the idea of being a runner. The Gladers have three rules to live by, no free loaders, no harming anyone and don’t go into the maze.
We learn that the community has Maze Runners who try to map the maze surrounding the community but the problem is that the maze changes every night, Newt continues the rest of the tour teaching Thomas about all the different groups before Thomas face Gally (Poulter) in a bonding battle. Thomas being curious tries to figure a way out but every idea he has the others have tried be it climbing over or going back down. Things start to get bad for Thomas when out of character runner Ben (Sheffield) attacks him blaming him for something. Ben had become infected by a sting, which cause the changing.
When the runners and the leader get caught up in the maze Thomas runs in to try and save the guys trying to get back. Stuck inside the maze Thomas must work with runner Minho (Hong Lee) to be the first to survive the night. During the night Thomas finds out about the creatures inside the maze Grievers killing one of them. When the box sends up Teresa (Scodelario) the first ever girl with the message this is the last one ever the community has to work out what to do next. Thomas arranges a team to go back into the maze try bring back the body of the griever to hopefully uncover answers about what they are up against. Thomas becomes a runner and along with Minho tries to find the answers the maze is hiding in a way to try and save the rest of the people.
The Maze Runner does fall into the category of teens fighting back against adult in a world that is post-apocalyptic (just like Hunger Games, Divergent, Ender’s Game, The Host the list could go on and on) the point is do we need another one? The answer for this is no, but this one does come off very interesting for the most part, we get to see how the struggle to survive is going ok for the group but when things change and positions get challenged we end up facing off against more than we bargained for. The negative side to this story is the ending, because it is a builder for the next film and almost makes this whole film seem almost pointless. We also have to look at the fact that this one bloke came in and changed everything within 3 days, while others had been there happy for 3 years. Overlooking these two flaws I do think this was the best of the starter stories until the end which loses its creditability. (6/10)
Dylan O’Brien: Thomas the latest boy sent to the surface to be part of the community that has to figure out the way out of the maze. He is different to the rest and could be the one to lead them to freedom. Dylan does a solid job in the lead role and it will be interesting to see where they take his character next now. (6/10)
Will Poulter: Gally who is one of the longest serving members of the community who is very determined to stay and survive rather than find a way out, he slowly because the villain of the piece because he won’t let the rest escape. Will does a good job in the role that is meant to be stubborn and against change. (7/10)
Kaya Scodelario: Teresa the first girl to be sent to the maze who also has a past with Thomas that they can’t fully remember to start with. She helps lead the escape once she starts remembering. Kaya struggles to make an impact even as the only real female character. (5/10)
Thomas Brodie-Sangster: Newt second in command who helps Thomas understand the ways of the people as well as being one that stands next to him during the confrontation against Gally. Thomas does a solid job as the information guy telling us all we need to learn about what is going on. (7/10)
Support Cast: The Maze Runner has a support cast that mainly includes the other teenagers in the community, we have the leader who warns gets hurt and dies helping, the token comedy relief character who doesn’t look like they should be there and the heroes who stand up for what is right. They all help the story go to the next level without being too attachable.
Director Review: Wes Ball – Wes does a good job directing this to keep us fully interested in what is unfolding. (7/10)
Action: The Maze Runner has good chases scenes and combat against the Grievers. (7/10)
Mystery: The Maze Runner does put you in a position to ask what is going on creating a good mystery side to the story. (7/10)
Sci-Fi: The Maze Runner we don’t see the full sci-fi of the story until the end which means I can’t give this part of the series a high score. (4/10)
Thriller: The Maze Runner pulls you into to want to see how the teens get on but once you see the end you almost feel let down. (6/10)
Settings: The Maze Runner creates a good isolated setting for the characters to be in as the story unfolds, making them trapped surrounded by a maze waiting to kill them. (/10)
Special Effects: The Maze Runner uses its special effects well to create the creatures that are after the teens. (8/10)
Suggestion: The Maze Runner is one to try, it will appeal to all the teenage fans out there because it another saga to follow along with. (Try It)
Best Part: Night in the maze.
Worst Part: The end leaves plot holes open.
Action Scene Of The Film: Freedom run.
Believability: No (0/10)
Chances of Tears: No (0/10)
Chances of Sequel: It will have sequels.
Post Credits Scene: No
Similar Too: The Hunger Games
Oscar Chances: No
Box Office: $341 Million
Budget: $34 Million
Runtime: 1 Hour 53 Minutes
Trivia: Of the largely British cast, only actor Thomas Brodie-Sangster, who plays Newt, got to keep his accent.
Overall: In the world with plenty of these teenage films this could easily have been one of the better ones but sadly it just gets pushed in with all the rest.
Thanks again Darren!