Saturday, 20 September 2014

MOVIE REVIEW: THE MAZE RUNNER





31/2/5

Thomas is awake without memories in the iron cage going up the shaft. When it surfaces he finds himself surrounded by the crowd of teenage boys in a glade, in the middle of a maze, which changes every night. Why are they here and how do they find a way out, considering that the labyrinth is full of deadly monsters called Grievers?

The plot of THE MAZE RUNNER is simple at its core, with a "big reveal" being solely disappointing. There are only a number of ways the ending could play out and if you had ever seen a fantasy movie you will probably figure it out the way I did. However there's a strange charm to the premise, and the setting and characters look mysterious enough to keep you interested.

Director Wes Ball, who had started his career as a visual effects specialist, is to be praised for his work on THE MAZE RUNNER - if the film is any good it is thanks to him and three screenwriters who penned the script. THE MAZE RUNNER the book had a few weak points, most of them was due to the lack of logic and some black and white painting of the characters and their motives. But in the film even the villain Gally can get our sympathies.

The book had a lot of sidetracks that would have slowed down the film, always trying to over explain everything and that was a major letdown personally for me while reading. The other problem of the novel were monsters Grievers. They were not scary at all, they were slow and reminded giant snails. In the  film they look more like space invaders from EDGE OF TOMORROW - fast and merciless. The duel between Thomas and a Grievers in the labyrinth in the middle of the film was definitely inspired.

There is nothing groundbreaking or original about THE MAZE RUNNER, but it turned a popular book into a solid engaging film which won me over, although I was very sceptical about it. Well designed, well acted and filled with some kick-ass action THE MAZE RUNNER can sustain multiple viewing and had definitely earned itself a pass for a sequel.

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