Sept. 22, 2014

Alexander Nedd
anedd@uccs.edu

Hollywood’s obsession to find the next big megamillion franchise has taken another swing with “The Maze Runner.”

The film brings the novel written by James Dashner to life in a big way. But just because an idea sounds good on paper doesn’t mean it will translate and stand out on film. So it is with “The Maze Runner.”

The film follows the lives of a young group of boys who are encompassed by that of a wild maze that prevents their exit into the beyond. The film begins with protagonist Thomas (Dylan O’Brian) heading to the surface of what will become his new home in a cage filled with survival supplies.

Disoriented, Thomas is befriended by the boys and shown around by leader Alby (Aml Ameen) who reveals the dire circumstances surrounding his new home, a maze stretched around the Glade. Thomas quickly shows curiosity that can either benefit the boys who want to get out, or place them directly in harms way.

Despite the slow rise to action within the first 30 minutes, the film eventually sets the pace running. Rules are broken and conflict arises as Thomas begins to question his involvement within the maze.

The maze itself is a spectacular model, providing intense moments that will keep you on the edge of your seat. The Grievers, spiderlike digital alien creatures, are perfectly disgusting and utterly terrifying. Heart pounding moments within the maze make the movie live up to its hype of becoming the next big thing.

Yet the dialogue and actor interaction make the movie fall short. The ending, although dramatic and packed with a twist you won’t expect, left a cliffhanger with more questions than answers. It left viewers wanting more, but not in a good way.

As refreshing as the idea of “The Maze Runner” is and the magic brought to life by the special effects, the film seemed a little off in its effort to capture the viewers. Dialect clearly added to be humor did little more than elicit an occasional chuckle.

It remains undetermined whether or not this movie will become the next big Hollywood series. The story told is a compelling one, and the elements of a great working cast are enough to keep those who didn’t read the book interested and those who have great imagery to compliment your thoughts.

If “The Maze Runner” is set to contend with the best of the best, progress will need to be made before those walls close. If no one survives the maze at night like the film says, it might be better to watch the movie before then, giving you extra time to find something else fun to do as well.