“Welcome to the glade, greenie.”
The glade is a large square expanse in the middle of tall cement structures. Think Central Park in New York with no way out. The Maze Runner is another in a long line of made for teen action sci-fi distopian flicks a la The Giver, Divergent, and Enders Game. Yet again we have a lead who is “different’ than the others, and “the one who will change everything.” Though formulaic, The Maze Runner still delivers with exciting action sequences,, an interesting story, and decent acting.
The Maze Runner follows Thomas (Dylan O’Brien, Teen Wolf) the latest arrival to the glade. We are introduced to this strange new world by Alby (Aml Ameen, Lee Daniels’ The Butler) as he shares the rules with Thomas. Each month a new boy arrives and joins the glade community. The Maze Runner comes with a familiar cast of characters.
The cool guy, Minho (Ki Hong Lee, NCIS), is an athletic runner who befriends Thomas when he sees his fearlessness in the maze.
The nice guy, Newt (Thomas Brodie, Game of Thrones), the vaguely British guy who befriends Thomas to help him fit in.
The Jerk, Gally (Will Poulter, Voyage of the Dawn Treader), who realizes that Thomas is changing everything and blames hates him for it.
The comic relief, Chunk, excuse me Chuck (Blake Cooper, Parental Guidance) who reminded me of Chunk from the Goonies and added some heart and humor to the mix.
The love interest? Theresa (Kaya Codelario, Moon) possibly Thomas’ sister possibly the love interest who… well, she was there.
Throughout the three years since Alby, the first, arrived these boys have created a sustainable society. Their survival hinges upon very specific rules and consequences. But, unlike the current population, Thomas is unsatisfied with simply surviving. The constantly changing maze grates on Thomas as it shifts throughout the night with distant groans and cracks, he needs to get out. It is in the mystery, purpose and action of this maze that The Maze Runner finds its stride. Unfortunately, for me, the ending fell a little flat and left me with a bad taste in my mouth. However, that taste was not enough to ruin the movie.
I enjoyed The Maze Runner for what it was: a teen angst filled sci-fi action drama. There were fun action sequences, decent acting chops, and an interesting world to explore. As much as I was hoping this wouldn’t be the first in a trilogy, I will likely give the sequel a chance.
Are you going to see The Maze Runner? What did you think if you did? Let us know below.