★★★★, Reviews
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The Maze Runner


  • Directed by: Wes Ball
  • With: Dylan O’Brien, Kaya Scodelario and Will Poulter
  • 113 Minutes

After a failed attempt to watch The Maze Runner in an outdoor film festival in Portugal, at last I had the chance to do it and it’s funny to see the impact of a dystopian movie ever since The Hunger Games was released worldwide. First of all, The Maze Runner is one of those rare cases in which the trailer didn’t ruin the experience and that, in my opinion, is something that needs to be praised. Second of all, after the terrific work Francis Lawrence did directing Catching Fire, my standards for young-adult dystopian movies increased a bit and I must say that I wasn’t expecting to leave the room in the way I did. While everyone’s expecting the epic conclusion of The Hunger Games, this movie ends up being an appetizer for what’s in stored for us in November. At least this was what I thought before watching it but now, I can guarantee you without any uncertainties that The Maze Runner is a lot more than that. Look up Tris and Katniss because Thomas is causing a good impression in theaters worldwide!

After waking up in an elevator, remembering nothing but his own name, Thomas emerges into a new and awkward world where a group of several boys lives and has learned to survive. Stuck in the middle of four giant walls, the only way out of that place is to entering in the maze but only the chosen ones are allowed to do it. For years, they were able to survive by subsisting on their own agriculture and supplies. Each month, a new boy arrives accompanied by some supplies but when Thomas arrives the balance and the peaceful days will change forever and his curiosity will lead the group into an adventure with their freedom as the ultimate prize.

Starring Dylan O’Brien, Kaya Scodelario and Will Poulter, The Maze Runner is like a big puzzle that causes a big impact in the viewer who is constantly trying to find out what’s happening there. The characters interact in harmony with the dystopian story since everyone had their position and their tasks to be done and this distribution allowed them to live peacefully. Their personalities are also affected by the events that occur after Thomas’ arrival and that development allows the viewer to decide who are the good guys and those who aren’t. In less than 2 hours The Maze Runner is capable of causing some emotional impact and the death of some characters sets the beginning of a defying change in the atmosphere of the movie. Even though there were some rough times, before Thomas’ arrival, everyone was peaceful and accustomed to live surrounded by those giant walls but, when he arrives everything changes and weird things start happening. Thomas is different than the rest of the people because he is constantly questioning the environment surrounding him and that will make him incapable of following the rules that lead to the peaceful times in that place. With his curiosity constantly challenging him, Thomas proves everyone that there might be a way out of the maze and while some start believing that perhaps there’s still hope, others will charge Thomas for everything bad that is happening to them. I enjoyed a lot Alby and Minho because they showed signs of leadership and they were the two major responsible for maintaining everything calm. When Teresa arrives, everything changes again and her calm and kind personality will be essential to keep everyone safe. At last but not the least, Chuck was another character I enjoyed a lot because of his kind and funny look. I also thought that some of the mean characters suffered from some exaggeration and the issues they caused looked a bit forced and not natural.

The relationships between the characters are a great way to show how life was there and there was some interesting chemistry between some of the characters. The story as a whole worked so incredibly well, with a slow beginning that suddenly transforms into a huge mystery filled with unknown details and the answers to our questions are only given in the end. The Maze Runner is an intense ride and I think that just like in Catching Fire time passed too fast and the twists and surprises were simply great for the story. From the moment the movie begins I felt a need to obtain answers about the place, about the maze and I wanted to know why they were stuck there. Everything was shown in a way that allowed me to feel connected with the characters’ fears and doubts and this was really interesting to watch. The movie is a mysterious adventure capable to impress the target audience and some skeptics and for the young-adult dystopian genre it was a great surprise.

In the end, I left the theater stunned, intrigued with the next installments and I couldn’t stop talking with my friends about my favorite moments. The finale is like a rollercoaster of emotions that tries to close a mystery that began haunting me in the beginning of the movie. There are funny moments, intense scenes and combined, all these things work out really well, making The Maze Runner a great adventure. Since it’s a trilogy, there must be lots of new things to be shown in the following installments but as an introduction, this one set the bar really high. With a slow pace that soon transforms into a rollercoaster of emotions that will grab your attention till the end of the movie, The Maze Runner is a thrilling, intense and exciting adventure with lots of potential to become a huge hit worldwide.



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