Okay, this particular film has a particular place in my heart, because I have written a book known as The Labyrinth House that has a…somewhat similar plotline. I’ve already talked about the similarities on another post, and I just don’t think that I want to kill that dead horse all over again.
This is based on a book by James Dashner, and I suppose that this successful book series for young adults was put to the screen for the sake of that Hunger Games/Divergent money. Like Divergent, I’m starting to see formulaic patterns in these young adult dystopian adaptations.
In the case of The Maze Runner, there are some interesting speculative fiction elements that work to the film’s credit. It begins when a boy goes ascends an elevator in and finds himself in a place called “The Glade”. The main character is amnesiac, and all of the boys in this place are too.
Eventually, he remembers his name is Thomas, and he discovers that The Glade is in the center of a maze. This maze has doors on it that close at night, and within this maze are these half organic/half technological constructs called Grievers. Yeah, they kill people.
So, what is up with this film? It is a big mystery, and that is what is supposed to draw the viewer in. Does it? I think so, but I have to admit that the film differs from the book in several ways.
I’ll go ahead and say what I don’t like about this film. The original book was pretty cerebral, as they had to use their brain to find the exit out of the maze. Here they kind of find the exit, and figured something out.
Now, when I read the book, I saw that there were scenes were there would be hallucinogenic flashbacks. I knew that when I would watch the movie, they would do that weird and scatterbrained way they show flashbacks in movies, and they did.
Now, in case you are wondering why in the world these boys (and eventually a girl) are in this big maze? There actually is an answer, but I’m not exactly certain why. It kind of makes sense, but it feels odd to me. I think I will have to see the sequels or read the books to find out why.