Review: The Maze Runner

Posted by Matthew on September 22, 2014
Movies, Reviews

The Maze Runner

The Maze Runner is a good movie which has an annoying ending. There’s a lot I could, and probably will, say about it but and the end of the day that’s all you need to know.

The film starts with a boy called Thomas waking up in an elevator with no memory of who he is or where he is. The elevator deposits him into the centre of a giant maze, and area called The Glade, where several dozen boys are already living. The first half of the story is basically “here are the club rules, these are the teams.” This world’s Gryffindors are the maze runners, the fastest and smartest boys who spend their time mapping out the maze trying to find an escape. Thomas, naturally, wants to be in Griffindor a runner.

Thomas explores the maze, things start to go wrong, and eventually the boys who want to get out of the maze come into conflict with the boys who have made their prison their home, which mainly comes after a night when the monsters that live in the maze, creepy as hell cyborg spider monsters called grievers, attack the glade and kill a great many of the boys who live there. It’s an impressive sequence but it’s probably the main sequence where the smaller budget of the film becomes clear. The monsters look good but not great, especially when they’re on-screen with a whole group of real actors.

This isn’t enough to be a deal breaker though. The darker tone of The Maze Runner is a welcome change from most young adult adaptations and while it’s not entirely original it’s well acted and well written right up to the end, which is where it falls apart.

If you’ve ever been angered by a movie cutting to black with a big unanswered question which will clearly be answered in a sequel then you probably won’t like the ending either. Everything you’ve wondered about is addressed by a talking head on a screen rather than by storytelling and even after that it’s not really clear why the fuck anyone would put all these kids into the maze in the first place. I mean it’s explained but that explanation doesn’t make any sense.

I suppose I should point out that it’s kind of nice that the one girl character in the story isn’t a love interest as well. That’s a refreshing change but the down side is that she’s clearly only in this movie because she is going to be important in the second and third parts of this trilogy.

All in all The Maze Runner is a good movie. It’s not a great one but it’s really only dragged down by the ending and the occasionally apparent budget issues. The set up is interesting, everyone is pretty good in it, and though it dives into a few clichés they’re well executed enough that it doesn’t really matter. The ending is the only truly annoying part but on the other hand the movies was good enough that I’m looking forward to the next one.

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