Film Review: The Maze Runner

The film adaptation of James Dashner’s The Maze Runner was directed by Wes Ball and was released in the UK on the 10th of October. As is always the case with Young Adult book-to-movie transitions, there has been much debate on how similar the adaptation will be to the original, and also the unavoidable Harry Potter/Hunger Games/Twilight comparisons.

 The film begins with our main character Thomas waking up in a box with his memory erased. When the box is opened he finds himself in a community of teenage boys who also have no memory of anything other than their names. They are all trapped in a maze, and must keep themselves alive while also searching for a way to escape, and for ways to protect themselves from the monsters already in the maze. Think Lord of the Flies in a maze and you’re pretty close.

Despite the majority of the cast being quite young, there are a few familiar faces among their ranks. Dylan O’Brien is excellent as Thomas, playing a very different character to O’ Brien’s roles on Teen Wolf or The Internship. Will Poulter is a startlingly dark contrast to his character in the recent We’re The Millers. Kaya Scodelario (easily recognisable from Skins) faced the challenging role of being the only female in the maze, and Thomas Brodie-Sangster is a sight for sore eyes after all the months Game of Thrones fans have been without him on our screens.

The Maze Runner is an action movie through and through, despite the relatively limited production budget, with many running sequences to live up to the film’s name. The suspense during several encounters in the maze made a fair few people in the cinema visibly flinch away from the screen and the mechanical monsters.  The film remains relatively truthful to the book, and the ending sets the audience up for the 2015 sequel; The Scorch Trials.

[Dana Stoddart – @DanaStoddart]

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