The Maze Runner


Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

The Maze Runner
"The plot is bonkers, but that's what you expect from this kind of thing"

Following in the star-dazzled wake of The Hunger Games comes another fantasy futuristic action adventure involving young people, boys in this instance, with the exception of Teresa (Kaya Scodelano) who arrives late and behaves like a boy anyway.

The plot is bonkers, but that's what you expect from this kind of thing, and the characters are thinly disguised stereotypes. Even Thomas (Dylan O'Brien), the protagonist, is as interesting as cottage cheese. He has one expression and one tone of voice, which fits neatly into this humour-free zone.

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In the year Apocalypse 12, or thereabouts, a clutch of teenagers have been transported by an industrial elevator into a pastoral prison, circled by an Israeli-style wall and a mysterious maze made of ginormous stone slabs and movable iron panels. Beyond the maze is freedom, the concept of which is lost on the majority of these "prisoners" who live happily in their commune.

Two of their number are chosen as "runners" who enter the maze, which is opened every morning and closed every night, to map its many facets. If they become trapped inside and cannot return before the stone entrance closes they're meat for giant metallic spiders that are switched on at dusk.

The film feels like a dinner guest who refuses to leave and the ending, when it comes, is an intro to the sequel, leaving the audience in a state of suspended animation.

One of the boys who looks like Freddie Highmore but isn't tells the others after a difficult day in the maze, "It doesn't matter. Any of it."

He could have been talking about the movie.

Reviewed on: 09 Oct 2014
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In some future age, beyond the Apocalypse, Thomas is deposited in a community of boys after his memory is erased, where escape is only possible through a dangerous maze.
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Director: Wes Ball

Writer: Noah Oppenheim, Grant Pierce Myers, T.S. Nowlin, based on the novel by James Dashner

Starring: Dylan O'Brien, Aml Ameen, Ki Hong Lee, Blake Cooper, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Will Poulter, Dexter Darden, Kaya Scodelario, Chris Sheffield, Joe Adler, Alexander Flores, Jacob Latimore, Randall D. Cunningham, Patricia Clarkson, Don McManus

Year: 2014

Runtime: 113 minutes

BBFC: 12A - Adult Supervision

Country: US, UK, Canada


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