If you’ve ever felt like a rat trapped in a maze . . . well, at least you’ve never really been one.
The Maze Runner tells the story of a community of young boys and their escape from the maze that is their home and prison. Is it worth getting lost in this maze for a couple hours, or should you spend your time with a crossword puzzle instead? Well, let’s take a look at the trailer and find out.
So who stars in this movie? Dylan O’Brien of Teen Wolf plays Thomas, the lead boy. Kaya Scodelario of Moon plays Teresa. Will Poulter of The Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader plays Gally, and Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Ferb of Phineas and Ferb, portrays Newt. Director Wes Ball is best known for his work in the Arts Department or in Visual Effects, so if nothing else, we’re guaranteed a good-looking movie.
The trailer begins as Thomas ascends in an elevator and discovers he can’t remember anything, not even his name. I know you wanted Twilight out of your memory, but that’s going a bit far, don’t you think? “Day One, Greenie,” says Gally. “Rise and shine.” And give God the glory, glory? Thomas finds himself in a field surrounded by a giant grey wall. “Welcome to the Glade,” one of the boys tells him. Oh, good, I’ve always wanted to visit the swamps of Florida! No one seems to know who put them in the Glade, but my guess is James Dashner, since, you know, he wrote the book.
Thomas finds the exit, but the boys won’t let him leave. “It’s the Maze,” Newt explains. And the roaring sound is the Minotaur, right? “Every morning, when those doors open, the Runners look for a way out,” he goes on. Unfortunately, all they’ve found so far is a few giant piles of stale cheese. “No one has ever survived a night in the Maze,” Newt says, and we get a glimpse of the “Grievers” snatching up an unfortunate Runner in the corn. Oh, so that was the real monster in Signs.
“We don’t belong here,” says Thomas as the boys perform their annual Wicker Man ceremony. “Somebody built the Maze. I think it’s time we find out what we’re really up against.” At the moment, you’re up against The Hunger Games series, Divergent, Ender’s Game, and The Giver, with more sure to come soon. “You’re not like the others,” one of the boys says. “You’re curious.” Whereas no other boy in the Glade has ever shown any curiosity? Come on, there had to be at least one who was curious about why grass grows or something.
Thomas discovers a little cylinder that the boys tell him is their first real clue to escaping the Maze. They’ve been here this long and they haven’t found a clue yet? No offense, guys, but your Runners are terrible at their jobs. They discover that the cylinder unlocks a door, and the light inside does a quick full body scan of Thomas. Oh, great, he’s found airport security. But before they can follow their new path, a new victim rides up in the elevator, and it’s a girl!
More than that, this girl knows Thomas’s name, so evidently memory-wiping doesn’t work on females. It’s probably because they keep secrets in their hair. “Everything started changing the moment you showed up,” Gally tells Thomas. That’s called the inciting action; it’s required to get the plot moving. Somebody needs to teach this kid a thing or two about story structure. “What if we were sent here for a reason?” Teresa asks. Then it would have been nice of whoever sent you to give you a list of instructions so you don’t completely bomb your mission.
But trouble strikes as one night, the doors don’t close, and the Grievers attack. You know, Grievers usually attend the funerals, not cause them. “They’re going to keep coming back until they kill us all,” Teresa tells the boys. Why didn’t they just stick around and finish the job, then? They’re going to waste so much gas money commuting back and forth like that. “We get out now or we die trying,” says Thomas, and he runs through the closing doors, nearly getting crushed. I hope someone’s telling C-3PO to shut down all the garbage mashers on the detention level. “We’re already dead!” one of the boys declares. Talking implies breathing, movement implies blood flow. You don’t understand the concept of dead, do you?
As the action montage starts, Newt smacks a guy in the face with a pole and apparently flips him several feet across the ground. Ferb’s been working out! Thomas encounters a Griever and almost falls off a ledge, the Runners dash through some rotating panels, Thomas opens a door he’s not sure about, and Teresa holds her own in a fight. Anyone else notice that “You hit like a girl” is becoming less of an insult with every new movie that comes out? A boy is threatened with the world’s most useless spears (I might even say “pointless”), we get a glimpse of someone drowning in a tank, and one of the boys says, “We can’t leave. They won’t let us.” That’s what happens when you try to get out of your contract with the studio. And the trailer ends as the Runners try to evade a completely shifting Maze that threatens to crush them. Anyone else seeing a metaphor for life there?
So based on the trailer, do I recommend this movie? Yes, yes I do. It’s got good action, great visuals, and some talented young actors. The premise is intriguing, and the trailer shows exactly enough to set the tone and introduce the story without giving away the secrets. I don’t know that I’ll get around to seeing this one in theaters, but I’ll definitely be checking it out when it comes out on DVD. I fully expect it to be a-MAZE-ing!
Admit it; you knew that was coming.
The Maze Runner is owned by 20th Century Fox.