Last night, I saw The Maze Runner! Cue the applause and cheering!
And, before anyone even dares to ask, I have read the book. Just to get that out of the way before it becomes an issue. And, like all book-to-movie adaptations, the book is obviously better than the movie. We’re covering the bases early in this movie review! I’m likin’ this.
There will be spoilers in this review later on, but I will be sure to mark them in bold so you can avoid them if need be!
I enjoyed this book-to-movie adaptation. The world of the Glade is so large and enormous! It seems impossible that a movie can capture the attitudes of the Gladers, the jobs and occupations, the constant focus on survival, the highly-entertaining slang terms, etc. in 1 hour 54 minutes. For the most part, though, the screenplay does a good job of squeezing every last bit of information into the movie for those that have not read the book. I attended this movie with my dad and he had absolutely no knowledge of the premise of this movie. He left the movie theater understanding — on a basic level — the concept of the maze and the Gladers. Because of this “squeezing of information”, though, the movie sometimes felt a bit stilted and scripted to me. For the first twenty minutes, you journey along with Thomas as he learns about the Glade, the nightmarish Grievers, and the impossible Maze. In the book, nothing felt rushed. In the movie, they have a short amount of time to cram in a lot of information. In all honesty, I have no clue how they could have communicated all that information in a better way with such a short time frame. I think they did what they could with it! Some people won’t mind it. Some people will. You know how it goes. 😉
As far as acting goes, I loved Dylan O’Brien as the curious and courageous Thomas. His handsome looks aside, Dylan has grown so much as an actor since season one of Teen Wolf. It was great to see him in a more serious role and, in my opinion, he nailed it. I don’t think that Thomas could have been portrayed as well by any other actor. I applaud the casting for this film. Chuck, played by Blake Cooper, is also well-acted and lovable. I know that many readers hold Chuck close to their hearts and it was nice to see the character given the respect he deserves by Cooper! Teresa, played by Kaya Scodelario, isn’t given as much screen time as I would have expected based on the book, but she was a great Teresa for the time that she did have on screen. Also, there were some great moments of hilarity throughout the movie that I was not expecting! It lessens the tension-filled moments and provides some a nice respite from the action.
As always, there were plenty of changes in this book-to-movie adaptation. Honestly, none of them bothered me at all.
I think of The Maze Runner by James Dashner as a long, suspenseful thrill ride. I mean, in reality, the events of the book only take place in ___ amount of days. There are certain events in the book (such as the Grievers only taking one Glader per night) that had to be shortened for the movie. Hollywood is as Hollywood does! Cue more action and screaming and horrifying Grievers and boys being thrown around. Complete and utter chaos. Hollywood, right? *rolls eyes*
End of Spoilers!
While reading the book, I never found myself bored. Even when there was peace in the Glade, I was still on the edge of my seat simply from Dashner’s “It-May-Be-Calm-Right-Now-But-I-Can-Write-Anything-Next” writing style. During the movie, however, that didn’t necessarily translate. While the action scenes were action-packed and intense, I felt dragged through all the non-action scenes. The suspense fell flat for me at times.
Rotten Tomatoes already gave the movie a 63%. Altogether not bad! The ending definitely left off for a sequel. While the movie doesn’t delve into why the boys are in the maze as much as the casual movie watcher would like, if you’ve read the books you have a better understanding of the back story of the Maze and why the children are placed into it. Many critics are commenting on the fact that the movie doesn’t really explore the why of the Maze. I’d have to agree! There is a feeling that the back story will be unearthed more in the sequel, however.
I think people will either think this adaptation is a-MAZE-ing (hehehe) or just feel okay about it. I’m not unhappy about it — in fact, I enjoyed it — I just left feeling a bit meh. Does that make sense? I would encourage all fans of Dashner’s book to go and see it in theaters. You should go and see it even if you haven’t read the book! The movie does a good job preaching to the non-readers of TMR. Come on, people, we need this movie to have a sequel!
I will leave you with this thought: If you remember the cliffhanger at the end of the first book, imagine the cliffhanger of the actual movie. Torture. Plain and simple torture. Okay, I’m done here.
NOTE: None of the above pictures are mine. I gathered them off of IMDb.com and Google. If they are yours and you want them removed, simply contact me and I will remove them.