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Film Review: The Maze Runner (2014)
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stainsteelrat
The Maze Runner (2014). Based on the books by James Dashner, and directed by Wes Ball. The film starts with a teenager (Dylan O'Brien) waking up on a large elevator. The elevator is moving up and eventually arrives abruptly in direct sunlight. The entrance to the elevator is surrounded by teenage boys, and one jumps down into the elevator and says, "Day one Greenie." The Maze Runner is the latest in a line of old and not so old Young Adult (YA) novels brought to the screen. I was wary because I've not really liked any to-date, as for me they've been derivative and/or dull. The Maze Runner was slightly different though, right from the off, with a much darker tone and slightly less of this group selection stuff (which the SNL peeps riffed on quite marvellously). I was somewhat reminded of John Christopher's The Tripods, with the group of teenagers fighting against the establishment. The story of The Maze Runner managed to hook me most of the way through as the teenagers, primarily O'Brien's character, are trying to discover what is going on. Perhaps inevitably it's more fun when you don't know as the (possibly partial) reveal towards the end had me connecting face with palm as it all started to feel rather derivative again. The other frustration is it means waiting the next two years for the next two films to be made, on the assumption they are. Although I'm tempted to skip ahead to the book synopses at Wikipedia to see if the sequels maintain the bulk of the good story - I'll have forgotten the synopses by the time the next film is released anyway. I have an awful feeling though that books two and three will be repeats of the first - teenagers fighting things - just in a different environment, a la The Hunger Games. Anyway, this film was pretty good if you don't mind a darker spin on the YA thing. 4/5 (Good)
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