The Maze Runner

 The Maze Runner (2014) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Maze Runner is an action packed sci-fi teen drama based on the first book of the Maze Runner series. I originally saw the movie back when it was first released in theatres and since have watched it about four times. The characters are basically part of one big experiment in search for a cure to a viral, deadly disease. Honestly, this movie is a little weird to watch in 2021. They are placed in a maze and once a month in an elevator into the 'glade', a new boy is brought up. Thomas is the newest addition, and there is something different about him compared to the others. He takes over as a leadership figure, a runner, and wants to find a way out of the maze. Then with a note saying she is “the last one ever”, Teresa (the first and only girl) joins the glade. These two put the whole plot in motion for the big escape from the maze.

The movie is one big mystery, they don’t know who they were before the maze, who put them there, and why they are there. I really like the dynamic between the characters and the way they have created this sense of community is really interesting. They all have specific jobs and follow a set of rules, which maintains order and helps them all survive. The characters in this film have a lot of depth. Even though we don’t know their life before the maze, their interactions and attitudes towards how to move forward is compelling. Gally, the leader wants them to stay on the glade and continue with business as usual. Thomas leads somewhat of a rebellion to escape the maze because they do not belong there, they were put there.

I love this cast, including the likes of, Dylan O’Brien, Thomas Brodie Sangster, and Will Poulter. I think they are all amazing actors. I have seen them in other films that I also really enjoyed, and they bring a lot to these characters and the story. I think the film would not be half of what it is without the casting choices that were made. I also really like the relationships between the characters, for example how Newt takes Thomas under his wing and how Thomas is really there for Chuck. These became really important dynamics that set up the more emotional parts of the film, it gave them something to fight for.

I feel like no one really talked about the Maze Runner movies in comparison to other post-apocalyptic/ dystopian teen books to film adaptations. I think these films were kind of late to the party when film series like Twilight, Harry Potter, Hunger Games, and Divergent were coming to a close. As a big fan of this movie, even I didn't see the following two until only recently. 

I highly recommend this movie, I think it is so interesting to follow along with and it leaves you with a lot of questions. Which I think is a good thing because it leaves you thinking about what you just watched and to reflect on it. The first film is definitely my favourite of the series, followed by the last film, The Death Cure. This film does a good job at introducing you to the characters and the situation they are in as well as the next two films. The Maze Runner is available through Disney +, as well as the sequel The Scorch Trials. However, the third and final film The Death Cure, is not.


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