Saturday, 20 September 2014

Film Review - The Maze Runner

Running to Stand Still

Film: The Maze Runner
Cast: Dylan O’ Brien, Ki Hong Lee, Will Poulter
Directed by: Wes Ball
Duration: 1 hr 53 mins
Rating: * * *

After The Hunger Games and Divergent we have another young adult story, albeit this time the main protagonist is a male unlike the other two films. The debut for director Wes Ball, The Maze Runner is the first of the trilogy adapted from the books by James Dashner.

The primary motive of the film is to establish the characters and the settings for the sequel to follow and at the end of the film, you are left with more questions than answers. But that is how this system of trilogies work as far as films is concerned.

At the very beginning we see a young man being transported in a cage, he lands in huge meadow called the Glade which is surrounded by gigantic walls. He is not the first to reach there and perhaps he won’t be the last. His name is Thomas (Dylan O’Brien) but he remembers that only eventually. What is he doing, why is he  there, the answers don’t come easy from the young men who are already there.

All we know is that there are certain rules to be followed- only the Runners are allowed to cross the walls and enter the Maze and they usually come back before sunset. There are shades of the sci-fi story Logan’s Run (1976) and the more recent Japanese film Battle Royale (2000).
Thomas is determined to get out of there after a girl arrives in the cage with a note. The antagonist is played by Will Poulter who decides to abide by their old rules instead of trying to find a way out.

For most parts, the film is engrossing because of the way it progresses, there is the odd revelation from time to time making you wonder how it will all tie up. The finale is a tad disappointing for the simple reason that it builds up for the sequel instead of satisfactorily finishing this one off. 

Wes Ball doesn’t rely too much on special effects although it would have been tempting to do so given the technology that is at disposal today. The Maze Runner is better than many of the mainstream super hero movies and is worth a shot.  

Published in The Navhind Times on 21st Sept 2014

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