Thursday, 16 October 2014

The Maze Runner movie review

Went to see this movie as a preview screening thanks to SeeFilmFirst at Bradford Cineworld last Tuesday night with my husband.  The film was really good, but I remembered pretty quickly why I no longer choose to go to Bradford Cineworld to watch movies.  We queued for over half an hour to ask for our car park ticket to be swiped after the film (for some reason even though there were less people queuing than staff, they were slower than sloths riding snails), only to be told that they could not due to it being 5.57pm on the ticket and 'they can only swipe after 6pm' as the car park is a different service to them (and this stops them swiping it why?  Is a little car park demon going to visit her in the night to check that the ticket says after 6pm?  I think not).  Considering the film starts at 6.30pm and we wanted a good seat, this is just ridiculous, but 3 minutes are important if you are a snail riding sloth apparently.

Any way, back to the film, IMDB says: 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.

Based on the best-selling novel by James Dashner, Director Wes Ball (Beginners, A Work in Progress) uses a screenplay written by Noah Oppenheim (Today, The Buried Life), Grant Pierce Myers (The Express, Across the Universe), Nashner and T.S. Nowlin (Medicine for Melancholy, Never), to pump up the action in this mystery/sci-fi.

Dylan O'Brien (Teen Wolf, The Internship) stars as Thomas and Aml Ameen (Kidulthood, The Butler) as Alby, the leader of the community of boys.  He is befriended by Newt, Thomas Brodie-Sangster (Love Actually, Game of Thrones or, as my son knows him best, the voice of Ferb in Phineas and Ferb) and Chuck, Blake Cooper (Prosper, Parental Guidance) but makes an enemy of Gally, Will Poulter (We're the Millers, Son of Rambow).  His curiosity and running skills earn him a place on the 'runners' team when he saves Minho, Ki Hong Lee (NCIS, Blue Bloods) from a night in the maze with the nightmarish Grievers.

There is a little too much explaining in the first part of the film, I know that Thomas and the boys do not know who they are at first and no-one knows why and how they got there, but it slowed down characterisation and momentum.  Once in the maze, the mystery deepens but with more action and peril which stopped the middle from sagging.  The one girl, Teresa, Kaya Scodelario (Moon, Clash of the Titans), that arrives in the elevator did feel like she was dropped in to capture more of a female audience rather than as an answer to the mystery, and the note saying 'the last one' did nothing to alleviate this for me.

It reminded me a lot of Lord of the Flies but with a modern twist of The Matrix thrown in and I have to admit to confusion and disappointment when we were given some of the answers to the mystery of the maze, for example, why is there so much sand outside of the maze, but a perfectly lush and green land is depicted within and why did the 'big bad' Councillor Paige have to fake her own death?  I am sure if I had read the books, I would know the answer to these and many other questions, but it did leave a bit of a let down feeling at the end of the film rather than a 'I can't wait for the next one to find out' feeling, which I am sure is what they were aiming for.

Another franchise in the making but they need to sort out the plot holes.                   7/10

#TheMazeRunner  #MazeRunner  #JamesDashner


  1. Good review. The Maze effects were realistic, such as when the Maze moved its walls (which only happened when the Runners were in the locked Glade in the book).  The actors were extremely good and well suited for their parts. 

  2. Thank you Thomas, glad you enjoyed it and I agree, the effects and actors were very good.