Movie Review: The Maze Runner
by Gloria Han
The release of the long awaited film adaptation of The Maze Runner finally hit theaters last Friday, September 19. Fans of the series were nervous to see the result; movies don’t always quite capture the same essence as the book. Here is a short summary of the plot: The protagonist, Thomas, finds himself entrapped in a moving box without recalling how he got there or any aspect about his background. As the box halts to a stop, he finally reaches sunlight, only to find himself in a mysterious area called the Glade, where a group of male adolescents reside and great stone walls surround them in the form of an inescapable maze. Thomas’ arrival, however sparks change, and there is finally hope for the Gladers to escape and hopefully reencounter the memories that have slipped out of their grasp.
Examples of adaptations like the Percy Jackson franchise and The City of the Bones, based off their respective books, have disappointed readers and waned their faith in the ability of movies to represent the aspects that dedicated readers so loved and enjoyed in the novels. Despite these recent failures, The Maze Runner was able to defy these odds. With solid performances, captivating visuals, and a dark but unimposing tone, The Maze Runner succeeds in bringing its original work to life. Particular actors who played their characters exceptionally well include Dylan O’Brien (Teen Wolf), Will Poulter (We are the Millers), and Thomas Brodie-Sangster (Game of Thrones), who acted the roles of characters Thomas, Gally, and Newt, respectively. This is not to say that the rest of the cast’s performances were any less impressive. A small supporting appearance is also made by Academy Award nominee Patricia Clarkson (The Green Mile, The Station Agent) towards the end of the film. In general the scenes were well crafted and exciting—unpredictable for even the biggest fans of the franchise. One of the best parts of the film is when Thomas first enters the maze, impulsively racing into the closing boulders as his fellow Gladers watch with despair and shock.
However, movie-goers should not expect the film to follow the book in every area of the story. The premise of course, is the same, but there are some differences in the plot. For instance, Thomas and Teresa do not have their telepathy link in the movie, and Newt does not walk with his conspicuous limp. However, these changes do not detract from the effect of the movie altogether. Overall, the movie proves itself to be a more than adequate adaptation which will please both readers and random audiences alike.
Rating: Four out of five Wamps