Novel adaptations have recently become a trend in the film industry, and James Dashner’s The Maze Runner is the latest book reworked for the big screen. Unlike many recently released YA adaptations, the cast of this action film was less than star studded, featuring Dylan O’Brien of “Teen Wolf” as its main character and most prominent feature. The cast includes many undiscovered talents, including Kaya Scodelario, Will Poulter, Thomas Sangster, and Ki-Hong Lee. Set in an unknown time and place, the motion picture chronicles the challenges a group of teens face while trapped in the center of a maze.
The movie focuses on a struggling society of teenage boys, who have no recollection of who they were before they were thrust into this mysterious landscape. A new boy arrives each month, from an unknown source, identified only by the acronym on the supplies they arrive with: W.C.K.D. Each day a pair of “runners” explores the maze and maps it to find a way out of their inexplicable prison, and each night the doors to the maze close, keeping the self-titled “Gladers” safe from the unknown dangers of the maze. The movie begins when Thomas (Dylan O’Brien) arrives in the maze. With the help of some kinder Gladers he grows accustomed to this unusual life, however, dangerous and mysterious things start occurring as soon as he arrives. When the first girl, Teresa (Kaya Scodelario), arrives with a message that she is the last to enter the maze, the Glade quickly spirals into uncivilized chaos, and many of the Gladers look to Thomas to lead them.
Many book to movie adaptations are less than satisfying, which, truth be told, was what I expected with this movie. However, it proved to be pleasantly surprising, as it improved and enhanced the story. Unexplained plot holes that could be found in the book were patched up with great writing, and viewers were left much more informed on the resolution of the problems characters faced, such as Thomas and Teresa’s unforeseen roles in their own imprisonment. Additionally, the overall plot translated much better on screen, as there is an abundance of action in this story. While readers of the book may have been tempted to put it down, this movie will have you on the edge of your seat.
I thoroughly enjoyed this film, and I think that anyone who enjoys sci-fi and action will feel the same. Not only was the adaptation of the story thrilling and refreshing, but the cinematography and overall quality of the film was excellent. Don’t dismiss it simply because it is “just another YA” movie. Furthermore, don’t judge the movie by its book and vice versa, as they are different. I strongly recommend this film to anyone and everyone who is even slightly intrigued by the plot of the movie.