September 22, 2015
By Tiffany Skelnik
The film The Maze Runner, directed by Wes Ball, is based on the novel by James Dashner and precedes the film The Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials, which was released in theaters September 18.
The Maze Runner follows Thomas, played by Dylan O’Brien of Teen Wolf fame, who finds himself trapped in a strange community known as the Glade. It’s a community surrounded by a maze, inhabited by creatures known as Grievers, and is inescapable because of the constantly changing patterns of the maze. While in the Glade, Thomas meets a group of boys including Minho, a runner tasked with exploring the maze, and Chuck, the community’s youngest resident who integrates Thomas into the society they boys have built. Thomas is immediately curious, and his arrival, along with the appearance of Teresa (the Glade’s only girl) played by Kaya Scodelario, offers a chance of escape.
The performances in this movie were excellent. O’Brien fits into character, giving the right balance of curiosity and reserve that makes the viewer want to know just how he will make it out of the problems he encounters. Another actor that stands out is Blake Cooper who plays Chuck, Thomas’ first friend. Although Cooper is one of the younger members of the cast, his performance complements O’Brien’s. Kaya Scodelario gives Teresa a tenacity and strength and Ki Hong Lee, who plays Minho, presents the frustration that Minho goes through when confronting all of his obstacles.
The special effects in this film blew me away. The maze and the Grievers that inhabit it were extremely well designed and the special effects headed by Jonathan Cappel brought them to life. The set design by Jon Danniells created a sense of claustrophobia as is if the viewer was actually running through the maze.
There are a lot of successful aspects in The Maze Runner including actor performances, effects, and a puzzle of a storyline filled with nonstop action. I highly recommend seeing The Maze Runner, and its sequel The Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials.