The Maze Runner
Release year: 2014
Director: Wes Ball
Screenwriter: Noah Oppenheim, Grant Pierce Myers, T.S. Nowlin, James Dashner (novel)
Starring: Dylan O’Brien, Aml Ameen, Ki Hong Lee, Blake Cooper, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Will Poulter, Dexter Darden, Joe Adler
Thomas (Dylan O’Brien) wakes up in a rusty elevator emerging in a valley with about thirty young boys surrounded by high walls. All he remembers is his name. So does all the others. The others let him in on the rules in ‘The Glade’ and explain that the wall around them is a maze that every day opens up to let a group enter, searching for a way out. But every night it closes and sometimes the group doesn’t return.
The adaption of Jame Dashner young adult book is solid and well-crafted entertainment with solid performances from the young cast. O’Brien (The Internship, 2013) handles both the early uncertain Thomas and the more capeable equally well and shows promise of a great career for the young actor. But there is no lack of talent in the supporting cast, with especially Poulter (The Revenant, 2015) making an impact as the aggressive Gally. In theme, it is close to the popular Hunger Games-franchise, a dystopian universe with teens as the heroes, and like the highly popular movies it sees young people caught in a dangerous enviroment, fighting to survive. But where Hunger Games was a deadly reality show ad social classes, The Maze Runner is more Lord of the Flies with sci-fi monsters. The movie ends in a way that makes it clear it is a continuous story, which makes it great that it was good enough succes for the sequels to be adapted into movies for fans to enjoy, and that it is gripping enough to leave you hungry for more.
The cast spent the week before production participating in survival training in the glade. They learned how to build tools and shelter out of the surrounding nature.
Picture copyright: SF Film