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"The Maze Runner" Film Review

Updated on December 25, 2021
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Nathan is a film critic and aspiring author with a true passion for the film industry who hopes his writings will help launch his career.

The Maze Runner definitely delivered on mystery, action, and adventure but it lacked a bit in substance compared to its book counterpart. Now, this is not going to be a big 'book vs movie' article but I do want to point out just a couple things along the way.

The film follows Thomas, a young teen who wakes up in a cage/elevator. The top opens and he finds himself in a strange place surrounded by other young teens. No one knows why they're there or even who put them there. All they know is that whoever it is has been dropping a new young teen man there once every month for over 3 years. Surrounding the living area, which the group has named The Glade, is an ever-changing Maze with seemingly no way out. After a life-or-death situation, Thomas becomes a Maze Runner, determined to find a way out of captivity and hopefully discover the truth.

I think what I loved most about the film is that you could tell everyone involved cared about the story. The actors, writers, director, and crew members all did an extraordinary job piecing this film together. What hurts the film is a few of the changes they made. Some I can understand but others make certain scenes or moments underwhelming. For instance, in the books, Thomas and Teresa were able to communicate with each other telepathically. That was avoided in the film and I completely understood why. Certain situations like this may call for voiceovers, but consider the times voiceovers were used. In such cases as Dr. Dolittle or even the show Dexter, voiceovers are used in a singular fashion. Having two people actually converse in voiceovers would not only be difficult as far as the film's flow goes but also in the sense of confusion. Would the audience be able to tell the difference between thoughts and statements? Another example is the tone change. There are certain characters whose personalities are toned down for the film and I felt that was a disservice to not only the film but the characters as a whole. The books were far more frightening because of the fact that you had no idea who to trust and who would turn on who. The movie is a bit more predictable that way. Also the Grievers were toned down quite a bit as well and were only frightening in looks, not in actions.

The acting was well done, especially from Dylan O'Brien. He puts everything on the table in every scene he's in and never lets up. Kaya Scodelario does pretty well as far as acting goes, but there are times when you can hear her accent go back and forth between English and American. Thankfully it was only a couple times and not a huge issue.

In conclusion, I was impressed with the film and felt it tried its best to be respectful of the original material. According to interviews, author James Dashner was even consulted throughout the filmmaking process which just goes to show the writers wanted to do their best to get it right. I give the film a 3 out of 4.

© 2018 Nathan Jasper


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