I’m not one for book to movie adaptations. Hollywood has definitely cashed in on this type of movie and then some; “Twilight”, “The Hunger Games”, “Lord of the Rings”, “The Fault in Our Stars”, “Divergent”, “The Hobbit”, etc. With adaptations, they can be hit and miss, but usually they will impress most of us. Sometimes these can be spectacular (“Lord of the Rings”), this year, we got “The Maze Runner“, and it is surprisingly good.
Many of my friends told me that this was excellent prior to watching it myself. That was proven almost immediately. First, I will address a couple concerns that some may have. At face value, this looks a little like “The Hunger Games”. While the whole “Evil government uses kids as entertainment” or arena type format is old now, that does not really bother me. There is mystery and an intriguing story line to keep me guessing and not wanting to leave my seat in fear of missing something important. Another thing I’d hate to miss, the outstanding sets! Wow, are these sets cool! They made great use of Louisiana as a filming location. Of course you can’t have a good shot without proper use of the camera. Yes, the cinematography is equally marvelous. Now, there is some shaky cam, but at least it is not as bad as “The Hunger Games”. The acting was definitely something I was worried about. Most of the lead actor’s (Dylan O’Brian) career consisted of “Teen Wolf” (shudder). However, he was able to surprise me somewhat. As for everyone else, well they’re all decent. I will admit they do break into monotone voice volume and sport the blank expression of Keanu Reeves at some points in the film, but overall they did a good job. The pacing in this film is pretty rock solid. This film has the perfect amount of run time for an adaptation. Sitting at one hour fifty-three minutes, and not the usual two and a half hours you would expect, everything that needs to be told is told. I never once thought, “Oh will this just END already!”
Okay, what didn’t I like about the movie? Well, that would be the ending. It is confusing, and opens up about one billion new questions when we only get a couple answered. Why is this? Hey look a sequel! Seriously, they already have begun the next Maze Runner that will premiere next year! That’s a little early don’t you think? Aside from that, there is one laugh out loud attempt to tug at the heart strings, it works of course, but the ending could have done much better without it. The rest of the movie is actually better than I had hoped and kept me invested in what is to come, despite the poor execution of the last 20 minutes. I would definitely recommend this to anyone who likes “The Hunger Games” or just an average joe looking for an adventurous action movie with a well-done (albeit a little unoriginal) premise which takes itself seriously. This gets Guy’s Guru Grade of a B+.