Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The Maze Runner Movie Review (Part 1)

Thomas is deposited in a community of boys after his memory is erased, soon learning they're all trapped in a maze that will require him to join forces with fellow "runners" for a shot at escape. -Summary from IMDB

This is the first of two reviews that Sarah and I are doing for The Maze Runner movie. This review focuses on the movie itself separate from the book and contains NO SPOILERS. Sarah will soon post A Reader’s Response to The Maze Runner which will be comparing the book to the movie and will contain spoilers for both.
Watching The Maze Runner on the big screen while I was high on caffeine is not an experience I’ll soon forget.  My mind was running 5 miles a minute and I was jittery as all get out. I’m not used to caffeine.

It was when the first Griever was shown that I figured out that The Maze Runner is a movie that likes to mess with your mind. I am familiar with the premise of the story, but I haven’t read the book. It wasn’t until that moment that I realized that the Grievers weren’t supernatural monsters, they were man-made. The whole maze is being controlled by someone on the outside, and that messed with my mind, as I am sure it did with the characters. Yes, the monsters were scary, but it was the ideas behind them that had more of an impact for me. That being said, I did feel like I nearly jumped out of my skin twice during the movie. Even a couple of minutes afterwards I was still shaking out my arms trying to convince them that I really would prefer to stay inside my skin. Like I said: caffeine.

Even though a movie does not have as much time as a book to develop characters, I felt like I knew them well enough to like them. I will admit that I am also influenced by superficial things such as looks (hey, I’m only human). My favorite character was definitely Newt (he’s gorgeous!), and I actually liked Gally. I could tell he was supposed to be the jerk of the story, but I couldn’t really hate him that much. Part of it has to do with how he was portrayed, the other part is again probably for superficial reasons… at least I’m honest. Overall, I was generally fond of all the characters.

As someone who has never read the book, I am really impressed by The Maze Runner. Some book movies are just mediocre, and can’t survive without the book to give it depth and a fanbase. The Maze Runner is fine on its own. I really wasn’t confused during the movie, which is something that is vital for a book movie. The only thing that had me shaking my head was the characters saying that no one had seen a Griever and lived… I had to ask Sarah if Grievers were the things that stung people, because that meant they had obviously seen them. I just chalk that up to overdramatic stupidity, it’s not really a big deal.

The Maze Runner is an action-packed, psychological, dystopian, horror. Yes, it is all those things at once. Just go with it. It is definitely worth seeing even if you haven’t read the books yet. I am totally looking forward to seeing how the rest of the movies play out.


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