WEST LONG BRANCH, NJ- It’s hard enough to imagine waking up in a strange place and not knowing where you are or what happened the night before, but waking up with no recollection of your entire past at all? That’s even more terrifying. What if you didn’t even wake up in a familiar place, but instead trapped with nowhere to turn to but four gray walls? You may feel a little bewildered and confused until you notice that you’re not the only one. In the film The Maze Runner directed by Wes Ball and based on the best-selling novel by James Dashner, Thomas, played by Dylan O’Brien, must discover not only what this strange place is but who he is and what he is destined to become.
The Maze Runner‘s broad setting description and many unanswered questions are a bit vague and confusing. However, this was the angle that the director Wes Ball took in order for the audience to sympathize and relate to the main character Thomas in the film.
In the beginning of the film, Thomas wakes up in The Box, which is an elevator that brings him up to a place called The Glade, which is the open field surrounded by the gray walls. Accompanying the Glade are several dozen boys who share the same fate as Thomas and are trapped there with no memory of any events or people from their past. The boys have created a civilized society of their own where they maintain the grassy land as well as follow a set of rules put together by the lead Glader. Beyond the walls lies The Maze which the Runners, or the boys sent out every day into the Maze, try and find a solution to, hopefully leading to their escape. The secrets, mysteries, and plot twists in the film will keep the audience’s eyes glue to the screen as they, along with Thomas, start to discover that there is much more beyond the Glade then any of them could have ever imagined.
The cast of The Maze Runner was impeccably assembled and the chemistry among the actors undoubtedly lent to the success of the film. Dylan O’Brien, best known for his comedic performances on the hit MTV drama Teen Wolf, proves that he can take on a more dark and serious role as Thomas. The film also features performance by Thomas Brodie-Sangster as Newt, who has appeared in films and television shows such as Love Actually and the popular HBO series Game of Thrones. Will Poulter, known for his performance in We’re The Millers, rounds out the cast as lead Glader Gally. As young performers and fairly new faces to the big screen, all of the cast members are able to create a film that breaks free of the stereotypical young adult novel turned film adaption that have been created over the past couple of years, even rivaling The Hunger Games.
The Maze Runner’s cinematography and editing add a level of finesse and novelty to the film. Similar to the novel that the film is based on, the film features dark and disturbing components that differentiate it from other young adult genre of movies. The film pushes the boundaries of PG-13 rated films and delivers something entirely new to its audiences. Not only is the editing done in such a way that creates suspense, but the camera work mirrors the actions of the characters as they run and encounter creatures outside of the maze walls, establishing a sophistication not often found in films that target a typically younger audience.
For fans of the original novel as well as the rest of the series, the film The Maze Runner stays true to the material and overall dark feel of the novel itself. Apart from some scenes that may have been altered due to time limitations, all of the major aspects of the novel were included in the film adaption. Due to the fact that some things do not translate well to screen from a novel, there were a couple of deletions regarding the characters’ abilities to speak telepathically. However, when it comes to novel to film adaptions it is difficult to include every detail. When considering the limitations of film, Ball did a remarkable job of turning the popular novel into something fans will truly enjoy.
Wes was about to do something truly remarkable with The Maze Runner.
It combines mystery, suspense, action, and adventure to create a thrilling experience that will not be forgotten even after audiences exit the theater.