Title: The Maze Runner (Official Facebook)
Tag Line: Get ready to run.
Release Date: 19 September 2014
Runtime: 113 min
Genres: Action | Mystery | Sci-Fi | Thriller | Dystopian
Series or Standalone: Series
Where Seen: Movie Screening
Production Company: 20th Century Fox
Distributed By: 20th Century Fox
Director(s): Wes Ball
Writer(s): Noah Oppenheim (screenplay), Grant Pierce Myers (screenplay), T.S. Nowlin (screenplay), James Dashner (novel)
Stars: Dylan O’Brien (Thomas), Aml Ameen (Alby), Ki Hong Lee (Minho), Blake Cooper (Chuck), Thomas Brodie-Sangster (Newt), Will Poulter (Gally), Dexter Darden (Frypan), Kaya Scodelario (Teresa), Chris Sheffield (Ben), Joe Adler (Zart), Jacob Latimore (Jeff), Alexander Flores (Winston), Randall D. Cunningham (Clint), Patricia Clarkson (Ava Paige)
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Earlier this week I was able to go see a movie screening for The Maze Runner which was based off of James Dashner’s novel of the same name which was released in 2009 (my review). There was much to like in the book and I was very curious to see how these words and descriptions were going to be brought to life by Hollywood. Just looking at the initial movie stills I knew I was going to be in for a visual treat as the images of the maze were very similar to the cover image of the book only better as now there was more of it. The entire movie was such a visual treat for the eyes and I was totally sucked into this crazy world and believed that it existed. I also spent most of the movie on the edge of my seat as it was non-stop action almost from the moment that Thomas (Dylan O’Brien) wakes up in the box.
As with most book to movie adaptations there were some small changes made from page to screen but most of these differences are negligable. For one, timelines were shortened (if my memory serves me right) but this only makes the action sequences all the more intense. Then there were some things that were revealed that I don’t think were mentioned until the next book but even that was just a minor quibble. In many ways I almost liked the movie better than the book as it can be so hard to picture certain things in your head from a loose description in a book. Case in point, the grievers. Oh my stars did the visual effects team come up with a total win on these terrfying creatures. These beasts that live in the maze made most people in the audience jump when first introduced and even made a few others scream out loud. This is how real they appreaed and we didn’t even see this in 3D. Add to this the amazing score and your heat is pumping almost as fast as that of the runners throughout the entire movie.
In the book, two of my favorite characters were Newt (Thomas Brodie-Sangster) and Minho (Ki Hong Lee) and I loved what the actors brought to their characters. I love them both even more now and I look forward to what Brodie-Sangster and Lee will do with them if The Scorch Trials gets greenlighted. Which after seeing The Maze Runner I don’t have any doubts will happen. I was also really excited to see what Dylan O’Brien would do with the character of Thomas, especially after what he did with his character Stiles on last season of Teen Wolf. And while Thomas isn’t as intense as a possessed Stiles there is a seriousness to him and O’Brien managages to show so much expression without needing to vocalize his thoughts. Of all the people in this movie the only one that I had issues with was Kaya Scodelario who played Teresa and that was mostly because she kept reminding me of a young Kristen Stewart though less mopey and more expressive. But this thought kept popping into my head whenever she was on screen and it took me out of the false-reality of the movie for a few beats.
The best part of this movie though was the ending. Those that have read the book probably know to which scene I am referring to and I just have to say that Wes Ball did an amazing job with it. There were a few moments when I wasn’t sure if they would go there and when they did the gasps of the audience were audible. I think I might have gasped myself and I knew it was coming! Overall I was really impressed with The Maze Runner movie and those its been years since I read the book I felt that it was very true to my memory of it. The maze was amazing to see on the big screen and the cast was just phenominally chosen. I went into this screening with low expectations, just as I always do when a book I’ve read was turned into a movie, but I’m happy to report that this adaptation blew me away. As I said above it was visually stunning and for that alone I have to give this movie props. Even if you haven’t read the book this is a movie worth seeing I don’t think that you will be disappointed.
My recommendation: Worth seeing on the big screen.