Reviewer Gavin Miller casts his eye over The Maze Runner...
This fantasy actioner from James Dashner’s best-selling novel proves it’s good enough to be talked about in the same breath as The Hunger Games.
It may bear a few striking similarities to the aforementioned box-office game-changer – but this is an enjoyable teen-orientated romp in its own right.
With amiable all-round performances – particularly from male lead Dylan O’Brien (TV series Teen Wolf) – this is a kind of ‘who’s who’ of male teen Hollywood stars, and along with an intriguing premise and couple of genuinely heart-rending moments, this ticks a lot of the right boxes.
When Thomas (O’Brien) gets unceremoniously dumped into a mysterious dystopian community of boys after his memory is erased – and all he can remember is his name – he soon realises there’s no escape from this enclosed environment bar a massive maze that surrounds it.
Around 60 teen boys – including Love Actually’s Thomas Brodie-Sangster and We’re the Millers’ Will Poulter – have been made to survive in this environment tagged ‘The Glade’, living off their own agriculture and supplies, with a new boy entering every 30 days.
Soon the curious Thomas wants to upset the ‘apple cart’ and venture into the maze – where ‘runners’ have been trying to find a way out – which opens for a short time every day, and in the process take on the nightmarish (alien-esque) beings called the Grievers, who kill anyone who gets locked in overnight.
But when comatose girl Teresa (Kaya Scodelario) arrives with a strange note, the whole dynamics of their world change – which will affect every one of them.
And for the most part this is an above-average drama with some stand-out moments, that only falters with its Hunger Games-isms and blatant set-up for the inevitable sequel.
Not quite an a-maze-ing experience – but The Maze Runner has definitely got legs.