“The Maze Runner” is the latest in the string of teen-targeted dystopian adventure films. It is impossible to avoid comparisons so, to be blunt, it is not as good as “The Hunger Games” or “Divergent”; still, the story is interesting and the intrigue will keep you watching until the end. Unlike the aforementioned series’, this film doesn’t have any big-name actors (aside from Patricia Clarkson who is on-screen for less than 5 minutes). The cast won’t be your reason for seeing this, but it also allows the story to develop without being distracted by the actors. The plot leaves a lot of loose ends and its reliance on a sequel makes it a very disappointing stand-alone film, but it also has me so anxious to get some answers to my long list of questions. Dylan O’Brien carries the momentum from the unexpectedly intense opening to the final Griever battle. The boys also develop a strong Lord-of-the-Flies chemistry as if they were truly in this survival situation. The movie reminded me of M. Night Shyamalan’s “The Village” from the start, but I was relieved to see that the Grievers are real to dismiss the possibility of it being a stolen concept. I love that the time period is left ambiguous between the lack of technology provided to the boys and the complex robotic appearance of the Grievers. I even began questioning whether the boys were on Earth. The story is dark, the action is intense, and “The Maze Runner” will keep you curious from start to finish (and until the sequel is released).
[Pictured: The scenery may be the coolest part of this film!]