The Maze Runner follows a group of guys and a girl who are all trapped in a maze, with no memory of their life and no clue why they are there. The usual routine of those in the maze is disrupted when Thomas, played by Dylan O’Brien, arrives. Thomas, unwilling to be content with the organization the members of the maze have created, begins looking for a way to get out. Shortly after his arrival, for the first time a girl is sent to the maze, starting the chain of events that puts everything on the line for this ragtag group of buff twenty-somethings.
Thomas is played by Dylan O’Brien, who plays Stiles on MTV’s Teen Wolf. Thomas, who is intelligent and impulsive, is a very different person from Stiles Stillinski, who is much more sarcastic and likes planning. Going into the movie, I worried that my association of O’Brien and Stiles would detract from the character of Thomas, but O’Brien’s portrayal was seamless and I quickly forgot I had seen him in another role. Other notable members of the cast are Kaya Scodelario and Will Poulter. Kaya Scodelario, who played Effy Stonem on Skins plays Theresa, the only girl in the maze. Will Poulter, an English actor known for We’re the Millers and Chronicles of Narnia, plays Gally, one of the leaders of the boys in the maze..
The Maze Runner is the first movie to be shown in Escape, a new movie format developed by Barco, a Belgian designer and manufacturer of digital-display systems. Set up in select movie theaters in the US, It takes advantage of three movie screens. During certain scenes in the movie, the two screens on the side, tilted at an angle, come to life to create more of a three-dimensional viewing experience. If you look directly at these screens, the difference in quality between the side screens and the main screen are glaring. But if you focus on the main screen, the side screens blend into the scene, adding a visual depth to the scene that is pretty cool. Currently, Escape is available in five theaters in the US: the Howard Hughes Center in LA; Cinemark 24 in Davie, Florida.; Cinemark West Plano in Plano, Texas; Cinemark at Seven Bridges Woodridge, Illinois; and Cinemark Redwood Downtown in Redwood City, California. I don’t usually rewatch movies for the effects of another format like 3D or IMAX, but if you do, then Escape is definitely worth the time.
I’m a fan of this movie. It has a fast-paced but understandable plot. It is engaging without being confusing or trying too hard. The actors does a good job and they all look like they have been outside for awhile, rather than looking like some dirt was smeared on to a pound of makeup. The cinematography is on point, and really creative That said, there are a lot more places where Escape could have been used effectively. Personally, I did not read the book before watching the movie. From what I understand, the movie does not follow the plot in the book exactly. I’m sure the movie could have been closer to the book plot, and as I am still holding out hope for that perfect book-to-movie plot, I subtract some points for that. I also wished the movie took more advantage of Escape.
In summary, Maze Runner is well written, directed and acted, but not accurate to the book it is based on, bringing it to a B+ rating. If you have a chance to see The Maze Runner while it’s still in theaters, I absolutely recommend it. If you get the chance to see it, or any future movie, in the Escape format, you won’t regret the choice.