The Maze Runner: Not so A-maze-ing

The-Maze-Runner-posterAndrew Copa ’15

Lost and confused, a teenage boy awakes to a group of rambunctious boys screaming and hollering at him. He doesn’t know his name. He doesn’t know where he is. Yet somehow, he is expected to survive. This is the basic premise behind Wes Ball’s The Maze Runner, which was released on Friday, September 19th. Based on the top selling novel with the same name by James Dashner,

The Maze Runner tells the story of a teenage boy, Thomas, who is placed in a field surrounded by enormous walls that make up a maze. He is placed there along with many other teenage boys who have seemed to create a stable society while searching for a way out of the labyrinth that surrounds them. Things seem to be fairly normal until for the first time a girl shows up a few days after Thomas, and from there, all Hell breaks loose.

While the story behind the film is incredibly intriguing, The Maze Runner fails to capitalize due to poor acting and even poorer dialogue. Dylan O’Brien, who played the protagonist Thomas, did a superb job with his role along with Aml Ameen who played Alby, the leader of the boys. The other actors and actresses, however, failed to express believable emotion in their roles. In particular, the character Chuck, played by Blake Cooper, truly lacked proper emotion throughout the film. One could blame this on poor writing, which time and time again failed to portray realistic dialogue and rather felt forced and lacking in substance.

Additionally, The Maze Runner failed to make me care about the characters. One of the most crucial aspects of filmmaking is making the audience truly care for the characters on screen so that when something happens to them, the audience feels a strong emotional loss and becomes enveloped in the film.

Altogether, due to poor emotional appeal, characterization, and dialogue, The Maze Runner failed to encompass me in a universe which I truly desired to be immersed in. As a huge fan of the trilogy of novels by James Dashner, I was disappointed by the result of the film by director Wes Ball. In a time period when teenage events in a post apocalyptic world are booming in the film industry, I believe The Maze Runner had the potential to capitalize on what was a unique and interesting plot.

However, there are some salvageable qualities of The Maze Runner.  For instance, it has plenty of action, which is well acted and executed in a believable manner.  All in all, if you are a person who can look past poor dialogue and acting to appreciate the greater story behind these failures, then I would recommend seeing this film in theaters. Otherwise, I would say that seeing The Maze Runner can wait until it’s release on DVD and Blu-Ray.

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EDSMAN RATING: 6/10

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