‘The Maze Runner’ makes some wrong turns

ARTS_Maze RunnerEnjoyable but not the next ‘Hunger Games’

By Mercedes Deutscher, Contributor


The Maze Runner, directed by Wes Ball, opened in theatres this past weekend and took the number one spot in the box office. I’d seen the trailer earlier this summer and was optimistic: I’d had some friends tell me that The Maze Runner could be the next Hunger Games, which convinced me to go see it. Having not read the novel of the same name, I walked into the theatre without knowing the plot or what to expect.

The Maze Runner follows the story of a tribe of boys who are sent into a glade one by one with only their names to their memory. Near the glade is the maze, which is hoped to have an escape to the world the boys came from. The boys live a relatively peaceful life for three years despite not finding a way out of the maze. That is, until Thomas arrives with an avid curiosity and determination to escape being entrapped by the maze.

This movie was directed in a fashion to keep the audience guessing. To the film’s credit, it does a pretty good job of this, especially in the first half of the movie. However, at times the film can be too inquisitive. I found at the beginning that the film threw too many questions at the audience and took a long time to answer them all. As well, so many questions are raised in the second half, many of which remained unanswered. Most frustratingly, the movie ends very abruptly. So many new elements are brought forth within the last 15 minutes and not explained in the slightest. Of course, if the film gets a sequel, it will hopefully be explained—in a year or so.

From an acting perspective, the characters of the film are generally believable. The Maze Runner stars Dylan O’Brien, better known for his work in Teen Wolf. O’Brien brings an adventurous spirit to Thomas and did a good job with the role. Personally, I found that the stand-out performance was that of Blake Cooper, who was cast as Chuck. Cooper’s performance is one that I won’t forget anytime soon, as I found myself laughing and feeling for his character. The rest of the cast did an adequate job, but nothing that stood out too much.

The soundtrack wasn’t too memorable. However, the film’s sound effects kept my attention during high tension action scenes. Hats off to the people who designed the sound effects for the Grievers. If the concept of Grievers wasn’t frightening to begin with, those sounds certainly were.

My biggest bone to pick with the film is the cinematography and camera work. I don’t recommend this movie to anyone who gets dizzy easily. The camera seemed to be bouncing all over the place, which made the movie hard to keep up with and even had me experiencing motion sickness at times.

Overall, this movie has my approval, but little more. I’m unsure if I would recommend this film to those who have read the book because I’m skeptical over it having only watched the movie. That being said, I don’t think it was a waste of money or time. For the most part, The Maze Runner was enjoyable and kept my attention.