Sunday, September 21, 2014

GSB FIlm Review: THE MAZE RUNNER (2014)

Gladly this isn't Lord of the Flies in a Maze. THE MAZE RUNNER is actually an intriguing story about young men that are trapped (in a maze of course) for reasons unknown, and have to decide if they accept their prison or escape it. But that's only the initial setup as the story unfolds into one mystery after another, and the audience realizes that the towering stone puzzle is not just a maze but something more sinister. The mystery starts with the fact that none of the young men can remember exactly who they are or how they got to the maze.  And also how the entrance to the maze opens and shuts each day. Was someone controlling it? And were they the same that put the boys there?  And what's up the monsters in the maze at night?  The combination of the mystery, action and drama was enough to keep most people's attention.

Teen Wolf fav Dylan O'Brien delivered as courageous (or just plain stupid) hero Thomas. The supporting cast were just as convincing.  I liked the performances of Ami Ameen, Will Poulter, and especially Thomas Brodie-Sangster who plays like a young Jude Law.  The only criticism I had with the cast is that I could tell who was going to buy the farm from the beginning of the film. But any seasoned film watcher could see that.
Surprisingly good directing from newbie Wes Ball. He kept things visually exciting and at a great dramatic pace.  Seeing the scale of the maze as compared to the live action elements, I have to give Ball and the creative teams credit for imparting the feeling that the characters were actually there.

Also the science fiction aspect of the film was much more relevant than I had first thought. When I first watched a trailer I thought it was more on some primitive tip.  Then another trailer showed laser scanning and giant moving walls and I figured I should check it out.  It was an interesting mix of tribalism, cyborg monsters, and more.

For those of you like myself that may not have known, The Maze Runner is based on a book series, so the film ends on a cliffhanger as a setup for the next one. Still, it should be entertaining to teens and adults that love the genre. For a Teen Sci-fi flick comparable to The Hunger Games, Geek Soul Brother gives it 4 out of 5 Cosmic Afros.