There is no denying that there has been an overabundance of post-apocalyptic teenage romps that sees a rebel hero fight back against an oppressive system. The Hunger Games, Divergent and many more of these “adapted from novels” films are attacking our cinemas with little to no originality. Another month goes by and it’s either The Giver, Mockingjay or more that try to sandwich a moral message into the mouths of the pubescent rebellion with more than a dash of love interest. And then there is The Maze Runner, which may have provoked some eye rolls with its large film dystopian adolescence. Yet before you start yawning and turning away, you must pay attention to this stirring film.
Translating both the fear and the titillation of the popular book series, relatively unknown director Wes Ball has succeeded with bringing the iconic and successful franchise into full effect. The landscapes of the Glade and the Maze are both stunning, sweeping and scary. The core of the picturesque Glade juxtaposed against the deathly Maze, that both capture two essences of the movie (survival and war), are wonderfully realised with astute development of the story. In fact, one of the main reason The Maze Runner works so much more effectively is because the story has many highly developed twists that keeps you enthralled. Not only is it steeped in actual mysterious drama that you are trying to weave through, but giving the audience a character (or many characters) that have no recollection or awareness of the danger they are in ups the exhilaration. The intrigue, plus the themes of waiting for death counteracted with fighting for life, makes Ball’s epic a tantalising game.
The Maze Runner is a visceral and terrifying film that will do much for those unaware of the series and a lot for those who are fans. Wes Ball’s brilliant film has delight, dread and an open ended finale that will leave you begging for more, not to mention monstrous Grievers that are incredibly petrifying. It’s definitely a film not to be dismissed as it wonders through its own maze to escape the shadows of bigger budget blockbusters. The Maze Runner is an original and wholly intense feature.
The Maze Runner is out October 10th