By Kayle Whittle
James Dashner’s “The Maze Runner” captivated audiences as a young adult novel, yet failed to make a big splash with critics in its movie adaptation. It seems to be growing even more difficult for books made into movies to please audiences. Many films either botch the transition from text to screen, but despite its flaws, “The Maze Runner” is one of the best adaptations that I’ve seen.
Thomas, played by Dylan O’Brien, enters a small glade which is surrounded on all sides by a deadly maze. He allies with the boys already living in the clearing, though none of them have any memory of the past or why they are trapped in the maze. They fight to unravel the mystery surrounding their presence in this deadly place. While there are antagonists such as Gally (Will Poulter), who despises Thomas for his quick rise to leadership, the real villains (prime nightmare material) are the deadly Grievers — strange creatures with poisonous stingers who lurk in the maze after dark.
“The Maze Runner” has an experienced cast, with O’Brien of “Teen Wolf” fame and Thomas Brodie-Sangster of “Game of Thrones” dominating the small screen. Though they give strong performances, the movie fails to give each character enough time on screen, so the audience is not able to become attached to them.
The real stars of the film were the fantastic visuals and special effects that brought the maze and its creatures to life. Exciting chase scenes leave you breathless while you desperately hope Thomas and the other boys will survive. The maze looks incredibly realistic, enormous and terrifying. The creatures that live within it are even more horribly lifelike.
Thankfully alongside those astounding effects, the movie contains as many plot twists for which the books are known. During the movie, the audience reacts to sudden, shocking revelations. The movie really leaves it to the imagination what could happen next. In these books, as well as the films, anything could happen. Every clue revealed only leads to more questions for the characters and the audience. Viewers will need to look toward the next film for answers.