‘The Maze Runner’ is the newest teen dystopian drama thrusting adolescents into a fight for their survival, but this film brings a fresh perspective to young adult adaptations.
Thomas (Dylan O’Brien) is thrown right in the center of the action that encompasses James Dashner’s best-selling young adult novel, The Maze Runner. Although Thomas and the rest of the young Gladers are confined by a daunting maze, their quest to stay alive provides an adventure that’s gritty and action-packed.
‘The Maze Runner’: An Action-Packed Tale Of Brotherhood
Thomas wakes up in a cage that’s transported him to an unknown location surrounded by a maze filled with a group of young boys. He has no memory; he can’t even remember his name. A teenage boy stuck in an unfamiliar place with amnesia? It sounds like a recipe for disaster, but it works in The Maze Runner.
The young fellow is forced to adapt to the life these young men have created for themselves, and it’s not easy, to say the least. He’s taken under the wing of Alby (Aml Ameen), who’s the leader of the pack. Alby’s established law and order, with a foreboding message to not go beyond the lengthy walls that keep them trapped inside.
Thomas doesn’t have the warmest welcome into the Glade. His so-called enemy, Gally (Will Poulter), is green with envy as Thomas intrudes on his territory. The Maze Runner is a Lord of the Flies meets Stand By Me, and this is seen the most when Thomas is initiated into the group.
Thomas & The Gladers Switch Up An All Too Familiar Concept
Despite a rough start, Thomas has an eye for curiosity, and his mind roams far beyond the maze. He quickly becomes a Runner, someone who maps the maze on a daily basis. The maze is a terrifying symbol of darkness, and Thomas learns that first-hand when he’s trapped inside the maze for a night. This allows the major action moments with Thomas and Minho (Ki Hong Lee) to shine.
He comes face-to-face with the Grievers, mechanical monsters who have a knack for killing anyone in their path. However, there’s something odd about these hideous creatures, giving Thomas more inclination of the true reason behind his entrapment.
The boys get the ultimate surprise when Teresa (Kaya Scodelario) shows up in the maze. She’s the sole female addition and is a former acquaintance of Thomas. Thankfully, this connection doesn’t lead to a full-fledged romance between Thomas and Teresa. Unlike The Maze Runner’s fellow young adult films, such as The Hunger Games and Divergent, this film is not bogged down by romance. The Maze Runner is a man’s man’s Hunger Games.
Thomas’ Quest Sets Up For A Sequel
Dylan O’Brien easily steps into the leading man role, a far cry from his sidekick role on Teen Wolf. Will Poulter and Thomas Brodie-Sangster take full command of their supporting roles as Gally and Newt. Patricia Clarkson makes a brief appearance, and it’s clear that her role will be expanded in the following films.
Unfortunately, the film begins to get a little confusing once Thomas starts to connect the dots, especially if you haven’t read the books. Thomas’ past has detrimentally affected his present and puts the lives of all the Gladers in serious danger.
This leads to a shocking conclusion and showdown that sets up a sure-to-happen sequel.
The Maze Runner hits theaters Sept. 19, 2014.
HollywoodLifers, are you planning on seeing The Maze Runner? Drop us a comment with your thoughts on Dylan O’Brien’s action-packed movie!
— Avery Thompson