The Maze Runner

The Maze Runner – directed by Wes Ball and starring Dylan O’Brien – is an adaptation of James Dashner’s novel of the same name.

I got a freebie offer from Redbox, so I thought I’d check this one out. It seemed to get overshadowed by some of the other young adult literature adaptations hitting the screen last year, and I didn’t hear much good or bad about it. But hey, can’t be worse than Hunger Games, right?

For what it is, it’s a decent film. It’s rather a standard survivor teen series which is far more literal than its ilk in that youngsters are actually thrown into a giant puzzle to be solved ‘for the greater good’ of humanity – no metaphor needed.

The Glade

The Glade

It’s got some good things going for it. The pacing is steady, the action and suspense are tight, and the characters are remarkably well dimensioned and developed. Though “greeny” Thomas, played by Dylan, may be the catalyst for all the changes in the film, I didn’t feel compelled by his character. Rather, I thought Chuck (Blake Cooper) and Newt (Thomas Brodie-Sangster, aka Peter Pan from Once Upon a Time and Jojen Reed from Game of Thrones) stole the show with their performances.

Banishment

Banishment

It feels most strongly influenced by The Lord of the Flies and the Forest Temple from Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.

For some reason, boys stranded in the middle of nowhere with no society to fall back upon will always make pointy sticks and end up re-enacting The Lord of the Flies. At least that’s what the movies tell me.

That’s fairly obvious.

Boy, I could use a Hookshot.

What I like though was the incorporation of the Forest Temple.

That’s how the Maze felt to me, at least.  Like running through one of the many puzzle dungeons from Legend of Zelda. Chuck even at one point tells Thomas it’s dangerous to go in alone. No lie, the maze walls are covered in ivy and he climbs up them to escape giant Skullutlas (they call them Grievers).

Forest Temple.  With HD graphics.

KILL IT WITH FIRE!

KILL IT! KILL IT WITH FIRE!!

MazeRunner_DungeonKey

Dungeon Key & Compass

After Thomas defeats the Giant Skulltula, he retrieves the dungeon key and dungeon map, which will lead them all to the boss room.

MazeRunner_MazeMap

We’ve visited all the rooms! Where’s the f-ing boss room!

Where they discover there are still more dungeons to conquer before they really get out.

 

All in all, it’s a decent movie. Could be better, but it’s not as bad as a lot of the YA Lit adaptations plaguing the silver screen these days.

This one has a good balance of mystery, heart, and adventure to it. I’d watch it again and I’d watch the sequel.

Next up, Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials later this year. Fire Temple?

Okay, if the one after that is the Water Temple…might not watch it. Damn Water Temple…

Damn Water Temple

Damn Water Temple

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