Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Movie Review: The Maze Runner

Capitalizing off of the young adult literary adaption craze, this adaption of James Dashner's novel tells the story of young men caught in a strange apocalyptic experiment. A young man (Dylan O'Brien) wakes up in a large elevator that flies upward into a glade where other young men look for him. He has no memory of who he is or why he is in this place. As the other teach or taunt him, he slowly learns his name is Thomas. He is greeted by the leader of the group known as Gladers Alby (Ami Ameen). He instructs Newt (Thomas Brodie-Sangster) to show Thomas around the camp and introduce him to the various groups of boys. Thomas is interested in joining the group known as runners led by Minho (Ki Hong Lee) who venture into the mysterious maze. Chuck (Blake Cooper) warns Thomas against going into the maze but Thomas can't help but be interested in the giant walls that open and close and take the lives of some of the young men.

When a member of the group is infected by a strange bite, they force him into the maze to survive the night and prevent him from attacking them. He disappears the next morning so Minho and Alby venture in to find him. They return but Alby is injured and they won't make it out before the walls close. Thomas jumps through the closing doors and will have to survive the night in the maze with Minho and Alby. They string Alby up so that he can be safe but Thomas is attacked by a giant monster known as a Griever. He survives the fight and escapes the Griever. As the first to do that, he returns to the glade with some respect though Gally (Will Poulter) is a bully who believes Thomas has broken rules and is causing trouble. 

A young woman Teresa (Kaya Scodelario) arrives in the elevator with a note that she will be the last one ever. Gally is disturbed by the new events and wants to punish Thomas but Newt stands up for him as the new leader. The next day, Thomas and Minho go into the maze and discover a new part with the help of the dissected Griever body. When they return, Alby has recovered from his bite and remembers what happened including who Thomas was before. As night falls, the doors to the maze don't close allowing Grievers to enter the glade. The Grievers kill Alby and Gally takes over the glade. Thomas injects himself with the Griever venom so that he can recover some of his memory recalling that he led some of the experiments. Gally threatens to banish Thomas but Thomas fights back and gathers a group to enter the maze to escape. They survive an attack from several Grievers and find a doorway out of the maze. 

They find a control center in chaos with broken computers and dead bodies. They find a message from Ava Paige (Patricia Clarkson) who explains what the World Catastrophe Killzone Department or W.C.K.D is and how the world was destroyed by a solar flare. The group learns that they are the last hope for a cure. They are about to leave the facility when Gally, who has been stung, threatens them with a gun. Gally shoots Chuck as Minho kills him with a spear. A squad of military clad men enter the area and pull out the kids. They are taken out into a desert and put on a helicopter. Ava addresses a board of researchers and explains how Thomas and the others could be the key to everything. The helicopter flies toward a destroyed city. 

The Maze Runner is a decent film that moves at a brisk enough pace under the direction of Wes Ball that I have found it entertaining the few times I've watched it. I enjoyed the mystery and not knowing what would happen next and I have become a fan of Dylan O'Brien as his career grows. The first film only gives a taste of a larger world and is dependent on sequels to explain what is going on behind the maze and the W.C.K.D. group. The film boasts a large group of talented young actors who do a decent job keeping the drama alive despite often corny dialogue. The special effects look cool and the Grievers are a cool monster to watch on screen. I was surprised by the Maze Runner series as at first I ignored it but found it to be entertaining. 

No comments:

Post a Comment