‘Wicked Is Good’ (The Maze Runner, 2014)

Book to Movie adaptations can be hit-or-miss. While the ‘Harry Potter’ franchise and a lot of the Stephen King books were true to their source material and were successful, the movie industry have also given us abominations such as ‘The Vampire’s Assistant’ (based on the Darren Shan series) and the Percy Jackson films. There’s not usually a middle ground to whether a book adaptation is awful or amazing, but ‘The Maze Runner’ is actually an exception.

‘The Maze Runner’ was released in 2014 and is based on a series of books by James Dashner. The film follows Thomas, who is dumped into a field inhabitated by a small community with his memory erased. He is told by the other characters that the field is surrounded by a giant ever-changing maze that opens every morning and, every morning, two ‘runners’ are sent into the maze to find a way out.

While I like to read the books before seeing a film adaptation, I have never read this pentalogy of books, so I will not be making comparisons between the two materials. As a film, overall I thought it was ok and enjoyable. I loved the premise; I found it unique and I noticed nods (possibly) to media sources such as Portal 2 and Game of Thrones. For a low(ish) budget blockbuster, the CGI was impressive, making the towering maze seem realistic and even menacing; the look of the Grievers (the creatures in the maze) also looked fantastic and creepy.

The acting was also really good (apart from Kaya Scodelario, whose stiff performance made the portrayal of Teresa bland), but I did have a few issues with ‘The Maze Runner’. The first problem I had with the film was the pacing: the first 20 minutes didn’t captivate me at all, even though the mysterious setting should have done. This is mainly because the opening scenes dragged on, when they could’ve given the viewers the same amount of information in less time; I could even go as far as to say that the overall length of the film was too long. There was also a lighting issue with the scenes involving the Grievers, which was a shame because I thought their design was really cool looking.

Overall, ‘The Maze Runner’ was an enjoyable film with mainly pacing issues. While I probably won’t be giving this a re-watch, I might watch the second film (‘The Scorch Trials’) to see if these issues are fixed and to also see where the story goes, as I really like the overall plot.

3/5

‘The Maze Runner’ is out on DVD now, and ‘The Scorch Trials’ is in cinemas. The trailer for ‘The Maze Runner’ can be seen below: