By: Rose McDermott
The movie adaption of James Dashner’s dystopian novel, The Maze Runner, premiered last September in more than 3,000 theaters nationwide.
Rated PG-13 for its violence and disturbing images, it was directed by Wes Ball and stars teen heartthrob Dylan O’Brien, who plays a teenage boy, Thomas, who finds himself trapped in a box that’s quickly rising. The box comes to a shuddering stop and is opened quickly from the top, shining bright light on the confused young man.
As he is helped out of the box by strange boys, he takes in his surroundings and immediately starts to run. He trips and the other boys catch up to him, and begin the long task of explaining how he arrived in his new home, the Glade. Thomas is confused because no one seems to know very much; the only thing they remember is their own names.
As Thomas begins to understand his prison, so does the viewer. The Glade is surrounded by massive stone walls that partially open during the day to let “Runners,” out into a large maze that changes every night. The boys are attempting to find a way out of the maze but the Creators of the maze have made escape hopeless.
After Thomas arrives, things begin to change. A girl,Teresa (Kaya Scodelario), is brought up in the box, which has never before happened, and two boys survive a night in the maze, which was thought to be impossible. Hope of finding a way out suddenly flourishes within the trapped boys
Thomas refuses to accept his own fate and pushes the limits of the rules and the other boys in the Glade follow. When they realize he is more willing to take risks than the rest of them, many of the boys become afraid, but others admire him for his bravery.
One boy, Gally (Will Poulter), does not like Thomas from the beginning and terrorizes him throughout the movie by bullying him and acting out against him. Others, like, Chuck (Blake Cooper) and Newt (Thomas Brodie-Sangster) stick with him even through all of his problems including breaking the rules of the Glade and devising a plan to escape.
Every move the teenagers make is in the hopes of escaping the maze and finding out what or who transported them there. They intend to destroy the creators of their prison and find a way back to civilization.
This movie was impressive in both its exceptional acting and unusual plot line. However, it differed from the book in many ways, which took away from the overall effect. Only one of the large stone doors to the maze opened every day whereas in the book, all four opened daily.
Also the Gladers didn’t receive a serum to help with pain from a sting from the Grievers, monsters that live in the maze, until the movie was almost over, but in the book, they were given it from the beginning. This helped the leaders save more people from grief and pain throughout the book.
Production of The Maze Runner cost an estimated $34 million and the movie made a little over $32 million in its first weekend. Because of the high turnout for the first movie, shooting for the second movie, The Scorched Trials, will begin soon and be released in 2015.
The Maze Runner deserves four out of five stars for its realistic acting and riveting plot line.