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The Maze Runner

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The Maze Runner is the next attempt at a teen-style book stepping into theaters. Series like Lord of the Rings and The Hunger Games have proven themselves worthy of the big screen so much, that other book adaptations have been flooding theaters.

I personally haven’t read the book series, so I had expectations based only on what was displayed in the trailers. From what I first saw, it just appeared to be about a boy who was placed in a world with a maze that changed frequently and his objective was to escape.

However upon seeing the film, it was much more clear the entire situation itself was a maze. The narrative was hard to maneuver around or understand. Like the maze, the narrative constantly changed instead of following something broad and narrowing it down. Jumping into the movie from the beginning there is plenty of confusion as to where the characters are, and why they are there. Throughout the film questions are raised constantly, yet they are never answered directly. Instead they follow a circular pattern.

Where The Maze Runner delivers is the action and immersion. It’s thrilling and intense from the start of the film to the very end. However, for a PG-13 rating, it was very gory and liberal on cursing. I wouldn’t actually advise 13-year-olds to see the film because the themes are beyond that of a high school student, let alone a middle school student.

However, if you prefer a less dynamic experience, this is more your type of movie.

The cast is mostly male, with only two females noticeably, so there isn’t really a romantic angle on this specific title in the series. It is hinted, however, that the main characters’ relationship with each other grows over time, but we will have to see. At the end of the film, a character explains there will be a sequel. The idea is that hopefully there will be more development in areas unexplored in the first film.

Where in my mind The Maze Runner did not deliver was the storytelling aspect. The film is very fast-paced and hardly slows down, not letting your mind adjust enough to grasp all that is going on. Numerous plot holes are left throughout the movie, most noticeably, the fact the character who solves the maze had only been inside for days. For a maze that changes constantly and hadn’t been solved for three years, it seems impossible one person could figure it out so quickly. The movie never really develops on how he has all this knowledge, just that he has it. The nature and purpose of the maze trials are never fully explained. Whenever a question is raised or seems odd to the viewer, something dramatic happens to try to erase it from your mind. However no matter how hard the movie tries to wipe the questions away they keep coming back. Why are these people in the Maze? What exactly is the Maze? Why won’t this movie answer anything specific? Instead, The Maze Runner leaves you questioning more and more as the film progresses and the answer to it all is that there will be second part.

I will, give the sequel a second chance based on how much potential this series has as a whole. Hopefully part two will trim the fat and get to the real guts of the story. I hope the second film answers some of those key questions I had as a viewer. More attention should focused on character development, instead of just the special effects. That way the scenery will allow the story to take over, and some of those questions to finally be answered.

C+

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Student News Site of Denton High School in Denton, Texas