Cinematic Releases: The Maze Runner

The Maze Runner finally hits theaters today. What did we think? Find out now.

"Dude! Haven't you ever seen
Lord of the Flies. This is
when we kill the fat kid!"
In the last few years, film goers have learned one definite thing: The Dystopian future is a violent, barren place where teenagers are pawns in numerous games led by manipulative adults dressed in stark white. Things are no different here. The Maze Runner is another in a long line of movies where hope is hard to come by and children are vanquished in large numbers while adults sit idly by watching the events transpire. Sound familiar?

Much like The Hunger Games, The Maze Runner brings us into a harsh reality after the fall of society as we know it. Sadly, the events that unfold in this story are not quite as fleshed out as the Katniss Everdeen journey and the film mildly falters under less character development than The Hunger Games and Divergent movies combined. However, The Maze Runner is still a thrilling adventure worth the price of admission.

"I don't know. They just
said they didn't like
Kristen Stewart's face."
What really stands out about The Maze Runner is the impeccable sound design, the creature effects, and the heart pounding scenes that take place in the maze. Like some twisted bio-mech spider out of a horrific video game, the "Grievers" are the things nightmares are made of. They're fast, violent, and probably the best part of the movie. Unlike the other films in the young adult book to screen trend, audiences are given a CGI'd non-human entity that's breathtaking and blood curdling at the same time. On that note, this is not for small children. There are a lot of jump scares, dimly lit environments, moments of unbearable tension, and numerous scenarios in which teenagers are brutally ravaged and killed by these robotic arachnids.

The Maze Runner also thrives on captivating performances from most of its lead actors. Dylan O'Brien definitely brings his best game here as the main character, Thomas. He seems natural in the action scenes and locks in well with the youthful cast that's backing him up. Will Poulter (We're The Millers) changes things up and abandons his comedic sensibilities to play foil to Thomas's plan to leave "The Glade". Will plays it up a bit and really seems comfortable in this type of role. On the other hand, actress Kaya Scodelario, doing her best Kristen Stewart impersonation. plays the mysterious female counterpart but falls flat with no emotion or ambition towards her character.

"Thank god. It's a box
of much needed hair products.
I was starting to worry."
The Maze Runner is a decent watch. It's not as grand in scale as the other movies in this new found genre of teens facing the desperate future against insurmountable odds.  But, there are plenty of things that might get fleshed out and fixed for the inevitable sequels. It looks great, sounds great, and features some very scary monsters that make it all worthwhile. Hopefully this makes a ton of money so I can get a little more of an idea about what's really going on here.

This is like a hybrid mix of Logan's Run blended with a futuristic Lord of the Flies and a general mixture of cliched science fiction ideas all thrown in to one grand scheme that's actually pretty entertaining. See it but don't take small children. It's not for them.