Sunday, September 21, 2014

The Maze Runner - Movie Review

The Maze Runner is a science fiction film adapted from a novel written by James Dasher. The movie was directed by Wes Ball and stars Dylan O'Brien, Aml Ameen, Ki Hong Lee, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Will Poulter, and Kaya Scodelario.

Thomas (O'Brien) wakes up with no memory and surrounded by a habitat that is surrounded by a seemingly inescapable maze. The group of young men he has joined has been trying to find a way out with no success for three years although Thomas makes a discovery that could change their fate for the better, or it may just open them all up to a threat they have so far been able to avoid.

It's pretty clear that 20th Century Fox is hoping to have another franchise on their hands as the whole movie sets up a story that will be fleshed out in future installments. There are four books, including a prequel) in the series written by James Dasher so we will most likely see a trilogy of movies if not more. The story is good enough to entertain audiences although I couldn't help like feeling it was a knock off version of The Hunger Games. The target audience is the same which was proven by all the young ladies in the theater who all seemed adequately pleased with how the movie turned out.

For me, it's really hard to pinpoint exactly what this movie is. It definitely falls into the science fiction category given the gigantic maze, bionic creatures, and futuristic themes although I felt it was lacking in the amount of action that was delivered given how it is being advertised. You don't really see much of the maze as most of the nearly two hour run time is spent on exposition because there is a ton of stuff that needs to be explained for any of it to make sense. While the acting is decent enough, no one really stands out which just adds validation to the one word that keeps popping up in my mind about the movie which is "adequate". There's nothing wrong with the movie, but none of it stands out either and I'm afraid it may fade pretty quickly which would be bad news for the franchise possibilities.

Fans of the books will no doubt be happy with seeing the story unfold on the big screen and it should see reasonable success at  the box office. The Maze Runner is a solid movie but doesn't do anything to distinguish itself against similar competition. Here's to hoping they can take things up a few notches in the next installment.


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