What Is It: The Maze Runner is the movie adaptation of James Dashner’s 2007 novel. Thomas (portrayed by Dylan O’Brien) finds himself flung into the Glade surrounded by an everchanging maze and populated by a group of boys who, like himself, remember nothing of their previous lives. It quickly becomes clear that their new lives weren’t as stable as they thought.
My experience: I was lucky enough to see the movie early on September 3rd (thanks Gofobo!). It was a great crowd and not as young as I imagine the movie’s actual demographic will be. I haven’t read the book yet, but still found the overall movie extremely enjoyable and definitely worthy of a full franchise treatment. The past few book adaptations I’ve seen were let downs (I’m looking at you Mortal Instruments). This one definitely stands up to scrutiny as a film on it’s own, and judging by the reaction of those around me it will still please fans of the book.
Why You Should See It: While the plot is interesting, as much as any of these youth dystopian dramas that seem to be popping up like daises, it’s the characters that are the strength of the movie. Everyone is perfectly cast. You’ll recognize several of them from other roles, but within the first few scenes you completely forget about that and see them solely as these characters. The humor is spot on and balanced well with the intense action. Even the special effects do exactly what they’re meant to: complement the story without overwhelming it. The end definitely leaves you anxious for the next film without making you feel like you should have just waited for the DVD box set.
The Future: The movie will be released nationwide on September 19th. It will be the first movie released in Barco’s new Escape format at select theaters. This uses three digital projectors on three screens to create a panoramic image. The sequel, Scorch Trials, has been green lit and is entering pre-production.