Movie Review: The Maze Runner

Cast: Dylan O’Brien, Aml Ameen, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Will Poulter, Kaya Scodelario, Blake Cooper, Ki Hong Lee

Direction: Wes Ball

Duration: 1 hour 54 minutes

Story: After erasing his memory, Thomas (Dylan O’Brien) is mysteriously deposited to the Glade – a grassy field, surrounded by high walls of a gigantic maze, where a few other boys have been trapped too. Can the group escape the deadly maze?

Review: Horrified by the situation and plagued by flashes of an unsettling dream, Thomas seeks answers from fellow prisoners, who are equally clueless. All they know is how every morning, the door to the maze opens, giving the best runners of the group an opportunity to map the ever-shifting labyrinth to find a way out.

However, they must return before the gate closes, as spending the night inside would mean battling dangerous creatures called the Grievers. In spite of multiple attempts, no one has ever escaped the maze so far. Could Thomas be the key?

Based on James Dashner’s popular young adult novels, this dystopian, post-apocalyptic thriller has the ability to make you feel claustrophobic, every time the runners squeeze themselves through the narrow pathways of the maze. A few of these fast-paced sequences are bound to leave you breathless with anxiety. Tense, dark and atmospheric, constant fear of the unknown grips you, keeping you on the edge of your seat throughout.

While its ‘battle for survival in a controlled environment’ theme reminds you of ‘The Hunger Games’, this has its own twists and turns. The teen actors perform with utmost conviction and are impressively understated. Also, what sets this film apart is how the story focuses on human emotions as much as it does on special effects. You feel for the characters and their trauma.

Ultimately, the plot provokes you to think if ‘being safe to suffer’ is better than ‘risking your life to look beyond the obvious’. It also convinces you to move out of your comfort zone and face your fear. The climax might seem underwhelming for some but the build-up is a sure-shot winner. Deserves a sequel…

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