Based on James Dashner’s best selling novel and starring Teen Wolf’s very own breakout babe Dylan O’Brien - The Maze Runner is the latest YA dystopian novel to get The Hunger Games treatment. Fans of the series are probably shouting at me to not make comparisons, but lets face it, if it weren’t for The Hungers Games this movie would not have been made. But I guess if I was a fan of The Maze Runner I wouldn’t want it compared to The Hunger Games either because the fact is it’s just not as good. That said, The Maze Runner is still pretty entertaining and worth seeing on the big screen for the action sequences alone… Also Dylan O’Brien.
For those of you in a hurry here’s my two tweet review:
The lack of women is unacceptable, the characters are bland as fuck and the relationships are severely under developed. #TheMazeRunner— Yvonne Popplewell (@UndieGirl) September 18, 2014
Now that we’ve gotten rid of the weaklings lets get down to business. The honest to goodness truth of the matter is that the only reason I went to see this movie is Dylan O’Brien aka Stiles Stilinski on Teen Wolf. I may have a turbulent relationship with that show - and my affection has definitely started wane - but it’s been a significant part of my life for about 5 years now and I feel like I’ve watched this kid grow up. It’s possible that some of the enjoyment I got from The Maze Runner was a side effect of the strange and unhealthy proud mamma bear feelings I have about Dylan O’Brian being in a BIG DAMN MOVIE!
That fangirl loyalty might account for the fact that I managed to feel something for one of the most bland protagonists ever. Dylan, to his credit, does what he can with the role but there’s not much to do and really this film seems to know where it’s strengths lie, focusing more on the action sequences and intense maze scenes than in-depth character moments. Let’s be real though, I already have my fill of white dudes with hero complex. I’ve seen it before in like EVERY MOVIE EVER. I don’t even care if it sounds selfish but I need girls in order to care about the characters and one is not enough.
There is only really one female character - unless you count the scientist at the end - and while she’s actually one of the more interesting characters in this film it’s still not enough. Before anyone feels the need to comment and tell me how wrong I am, I have read the entire series and I do know where the girls are at but that still doesn’t excuse the fact that there is only one female character in this film and it certainly doesn’t stop me from getting bored with the manpain (I need girls to keep me interested and I’m not sorry).
Lest you think there is nothing of merit in this film the concept is actually pretty fricken cool and the execution is WAY better than I expected. The maze is a sight to behold and the Grievers (mysterious monsters that plague the maze) are genuinely frightening. Also to it’s credit, The Maze Runner has a surprising amount of racial diversity for YA adaptation and a distinct lack of romance for anyone that’s sick of those Romeo and Juliet subplots. Of course you might think the lack of romance would allow the platonic relationships to be developed further but that’s not the case, particularly the friendship between the protagonist Thomas and his first friend in the Glade, Chuck. This is relationship is SUPER important to the emotional impact of the films climax and they just don’t take the time to make it matter, which is unfortunate.
Anyway, fans of the books will probably enjoy the film because it’s a pretty faithful adaptation and those that are inclined towards the male body have plenty to look. Even if you’re not completely sold, it’s certainly not a waste of money or time and seriously Dylan O’Brien is phenomenal so if you haven’t seen Teen Wolf you should definitely check him out in this. Ultimately if you’re into monster horror action, you like conspiracy theory mysteries and you’re not fussed on character development then you’ll probably LOVE The Maze Runner.