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In The Maze Runner full movie 2014, Thomas (Dylan O’Brien from MTV’s Teen Wolf) wakes up inside a moving freight elevator – with no memory of his former life. When the lift stops, he is greeted by a group of young boys called The Gladers – adolescent boys who have formed an organized society in spite of being trapped within the walls of a huge and deadly labyrinth.
Led by Alby (Aml Ameen), the very first resident to show up in The Glade years ago, alongside his second in command, Newt (Thomas Brodie-Sangster), each member of the community is tasked with a job – with “Runners” taking-on the huge responsibility of exploring and mapping the ever-changing maze (together with the dangers that wait within).
Concerned that the Gladers have become too comfortable with their imprisonment, Thomas begins challenging the laws of their society – leading him in direct conflict with Gally (Will Poulter), leader of the Builders, who insists on that Thomas is responsible for new threats that have put the entire society in peril. However, when the first female Glade tenant arrives with an ominous message, Thomas, Alby, and Newt realize they can no longer wait-out their lives within the confines of the maze. The time has come to escape.
The Maze Runner full movie was directed by a new feature moviemaker Wes Ball – based on James Dashner’s 2007 young adult book of the same name. Like many YA adaptations, The Maze Runner novel is only the first installment in a larger (three-part) series – meaning that while Ball’s film is an intriguing (and exciting) introduction into the storyline, it also spends a significant amount of time preparing moviegoers for an already in production sequel.
The Maze Runner is short on satisfying closure
The movie won’t live up to the mass-appeal of The Hunger Games saga, but there’s no question that The Maze Runner is a lot better than most young adult book-to-film offerings – with many likable characters, thoughtful drama, as well as tons of engaging sci-fi ideas. Still, casual audiences who have not read the novels and are simply looking for a one-off piece of entertainment may find that, despite quality moviemaking, The Maze Runner is short on satisfying closure – posing more questions than answers (at least in this first installment).
Similarly, fans of the novels will find several significant changes to the narrative – most of which were used to streamline the larger story. Nonetheless, The Maze Runner successfully captures major aspects of the source material that help differentiate the film from many of its melodramatic counterparts. Most importantly, mysteries of the maze, The Glade, and the larger confrontation are all unveiled in a steady and satisfying stream – making The Maze Runner 2014 movie an interesting – albeit pretty undemanding – science fiction tale.
The Maze Runner full movie also avoids such eye-rolling romance
Although Ball relies too much on character archetypes and plot beats that viewers will have seen before, the movie maintains a brisk pace – where new layers of character and plot are consistently peeled back. The movie doesn’t dig particularly deep but provides enough emotional threads (and commentary on complacency versus self-determination) to be more than a surface-level escape story. Fortunately, The Maze Runner full movie also avoids such eye-rolling romance that is frequently standard in the young adult genre – at least for this movie.
Dylan O’Brien leads the cast as Thomas – and the actor is a serviceable champion to rally behind. Unfortunately, given that the movie spends most of its time setting up the series mythology, along with a few minor conflicts, O’Brien isn’t provided much room to explore Thomas. Ball hints at stronger material that can be mined down the line, but aside from a few vague flashes, Thomas is quite a blank slate; even when viewers learn more about his backstory, any revelations are soon dismissed by the moviemakers and the onscreen characters.
Thankfully, even as supporting characters, Newt (Thomas Brodie-Sangster), Alby (Aml Ameen), Minho (Ki Hong Lee), and Chuck (Blake Cooper) are actually more interesting and rounded than Thomas. While Thomas is responsible for driving the storyline, and pushing the Gladers into uncharted territory, it is actually his compatriots that keep the movie grounded. Brodie-Sangster (Game of Thrones) and Cooper (a relative newcomer) are especially convincing in their roles – helping to breathe subtle humanity into a story that could easily have devolved into teenage cliches.
Will Poulter from We’re the Millers also appears on the film, and though the actor does his best as Gally, little time is dedicated to developing the character beyond a stock outline – leaving no room for Gally to show anything particularly profound about the Gladers or Thomas. Similarly, while the arrival of Teresa (Kaya Scodelario), the first female resident of the Glade, is a major turning point in the story, the actress is rarely a focus in the onscreen drama – mostly just a plot beat with no actual arc.
Unsurprisingly, the maze is one of the more intriguing factors in the story – and Ball succeeds in presenting the towering environment as both ominous and alluring (even though there’s little reason to spring for an IMAX upgrade). Some action moments suffer from CGI overload, particularly in wide shots of the labyrinth, as well as frantic encounters with the Grievers (beastly creatures that hunt intruders at night), but the cinematography and overall quality of the visuals prevent Ball’s work from looking too budgeted.
Additionally, despite the daunting sprawl of the maze, uninitiated moviegoers expecting stylized fighting and creature conflicts will likely be underwhelmed by Maze Runner‘s action set pieces. The picture includes tons of exciting moments but, as indicated by the title, the characters’ primary defense fashion is running – not hand-to-hand combat.
The young adult book genre is filled with uninspired and downright clumsy movie adaptions – where capitalizing on an existing fan base is often more vital than delivering a competent theater experience. While The Maze Runner isn’t the greatest (or necessarily most faithful) book-to-film adaptation, Ball makes wise use of Dashner’s source material for an entertaining sci-fi drama – albeit one that, for some, will spend too much time setting up future projects rather than fleshing-out key characters and the bigger post-apocalyptic world.