Not your average dystopic teenage flick: The Maze Runner captivates audiences


Nneoma Igwedibie

This Maze Runner keeps audiences spellbound with its mysterious and heart racing plot. The film is sure to entertain children and adults alike.

Anabel Prince, Reporter

When my friends suggested that we see The Maze Runner, a new movie based of the young adult dystopian novel by James Dashner, I felt skeptical at first. I imagined it as a Hunger Games/Divergent doppelganger, filled with a predictable storyline and mediocre teenage acting. After viewing the film, I am surprised to say my assumptions were completely false, and that this movie is worth watching in theaters.

The story follows a 16 year old boy, Thomas, who awakens to find himself trapped in the middle of a maze with all of his memories wiped. In this maze lives a tribe of other boys who have all experienced this same thing and now function as a society, growing their own food and building their own shelter. The maze has been a puzzle to them for years, but when Thomas arrives, they finally begin to get some answers.

The Maze Runner is definitely a thriller. Chase scenes punctuate this film, but they all grip audiences. I remained on the edge of my seat the entire time. The moviemakers did a tremendous job in creating a feeling of isolation– I felt as if I myself could not escape this maze. From the moment the movie opens up, a million questions pop in your head. Why are they in this maze? Who put them there? How will they get out? The film eventually answers all of these questions, and by the end, an entire set of new questions jumps to your head.

The acting in this film was also far better than expected, especially from a group of actors in their teens to mid twenties. Dylan O’Brien, who portrays Thomas, while a little lacking at the start, saw a definite improvement in his believability in the second half. The true standout to me proved Chuck, portrayed by a young and (until now) unknown actor, Blake Cooper. Considering this kid is only about 13-14 years old, his acting remained impeccable. He provided the perfect amount of comic relief to balance the thrilling tone of the film. Other actors such as Thomas Sangster, Will Poulter, and Kaya Scodelario also flashed standout performances.

Despite the film satisfying overall, a few scenes could use some work. Throughout the film, flashbacks are shown that give insight as to why the characters are in the maze. These flashbacks could have added depth to the film, but they failed to make the viewer think about the answer; instead, it gift-wrapped to the audience.

The movie did not have a “big reveal” until the end, which I liked, but the reveal itself could have been even more shocking without flashbacks. A few scenes in the film did not jive with the rest of the plot, and felt a irrelevant to me. However, these issues remain relatively small in the grand scheme of the movie.

Overall, The Maze Runner profiles as a fantastic thriller that both teenage and adult audiences will enjoy. It contains an interesting plot, an awesome mystery, great cinematography, and believable acting.

The Chant’s grade: B+