Monday, 13 October 2014

Film: 'The Maze Runner'

The premise of this film shares much the same territory as 'The Hunger Games' trilogy. In this case I don't have much enthusiasm for catching the further two projected episodes, though for the 'Hunger' series I did see them all..

Set in some vague future, a selected group of racially-diverse youngsters (here, all teenage boys/young men, some of whom look barely out of school) find themselves mysteriously appearing one by one at monthly intervals in an enclosed pasture and woodland enclosed by a massive circular maze whose walls change position daily and which appears to be the only means of escape. If anyone finds themselves trapped in the maze he is left to the mercy of large, semi-mechanical(?), spider-like creatures with voracious appetites. Then one day a young woman is delivered by the usual means, an elevator from below ground. Like all the others, she  doesn't remember why and how she arrived.
The reason for their being held captive in this way is only explained as the film reaches its conclusion. Meanwhile, with no idea as to what they are supposed to do they survive by living off the land in primitive fashion (shades of 'Lord of the Flies'?).

Director Wes Ball manages the action sequences fairly enough with some reasonably impressive CGI work, though throughout the film the dialogue doesn't rise to any inspiring level to reflect the desperate situation of the 'prisoners' as they try to discover an escape route.

It's a noisy film and it's largely derivative, plot-wise. Will Poulter plays the most interesting character, the one who doubts the sincerity of the latest arrival (Dylan O'Brien) who seems most intent on getting to the bottom of what's going on. Poulter suspects that he must be part of the overall plan to test them somehow, whatever that plan is.
I found it quite easy to identify which ones in this group would not survive into the next episode, having enough leisure-time to guess - and I was correct.

I'll only go to see the sequels if there's nothing of more interest playing. As for this one.................5/10.


  1. oh a 5. I think I will still see it as I love all these types of films. We will go for date night I think. I haven't read this book? was it a book. Where as the Hunger Games and Divergent were amazing books, only the hunger games is as close as it could get. next instalment is the next month I think. I will be there with bells on!

    1. If it's your 'bag', Sol, then good for you. I think this genre of film has very little to say that is new.
      I believe it is based on a popular novel and this film doesn't make it any more likely that I'd be reading it. But do go - and enjoy (which I suspect you will). It's got a hefty average 7.6 rating on IMDb so far. Maybe it's one for the younger set.

  2. Ray,
    I probably won't see this film because I don't like the premise. By the way, I tried to see 'Biutiful" last night on my Netflix DVD rental. I couldn't get through more than fifteen minutes. What an awful film. It was one of those director self absorbed gimmicky films. Dark, mumbling dialogue, excessive camera movement that made me sea sick and what was the story? I hate these kinds of movies. So la de dah. I just didn't get it nor did I care. Have you reviewed that movie?


  3. Ron, not only have I not seen 'Biutiful' but I've never heard of it. Referring to IMDb I take it you're meaning the 2010 Spanish film with Javier Bardem as single father of two, with terminal cancer, which sounds a barrel of laughs - not! I'm pretty sure it didn't get a cinema release here, and from what you say maybe that's not a surprise.

  4. I hear tell the book is clever it has some slang well thought out. The movie sounds too Hunger Games for me.

    1. If there was any sign of 'cleverness' in the book-based script, Dr Spo, it must have gone over my head as I found it dull, dull, dull.

      The film will probably rely for most of its support from fans of 'Hunger Games', and so far I've only read that this is a second-best to that.