Though genre is overdone, ‘The Maze Runner’ impresses

Jacob Olson

As Thomas coughs up water and crawls around the ascending metal cage, he has no idea what is going on, where he came from, where he is going, or even his own name.  Much like Thomas as he ascended through the industrial elevator shaft, other than the fact that I do know my own name, I found myself entering this movie not knowing what to expect.  However, the movie definitely let me leave the theater satisfied and surprisingly pleased.

MazeRunnerWEB
THOMAS and other teenagers trapped in a mysterious maze explore their surroundings during Wes Ball’s film adaptation of “The Maze Runner.”

“The Maze Runner,” a movie adaptation of James Dashner’s book of the same name, follows the stereotypical format of a movie with shaky camera work based off a dystopian world with heroic teenagers.  It’s a little repetitive after the two “Hunger Games” movies and “Divergent,” but regardless, it brought me through a variety of different emotions and thoughts.

The beginning of the movie pulls the audience into a world that portrays the confusion and fear that the main character experiences.  Thomas (Dylan O’Brien) starts in a metal cage, not knowing really anything.  He’s coughing water, banging on the walls of the cage, and looks around only to see darkness with a few lights surrounding him.  He finally breaks free of the confines of the metal cage as the top of it opens up to a crowd of males staring down at him.  They help him out, but all he can respond with is a swift sprint towards who-knows-where, only to eventually realize that he is surrounded by four gigantic concrete walls.

Throughout this whole scene, I felt Thomas’ nervousness and fear, the emotions deepening as he was surrounded by various men staring down at him and he having no idea of what is going on.  The men over him intimated him as they shared small laughs and stared down at him, already judging him from minute one.  I felt the intensity of the moment as he sprinted away, hoping to be free of whatever had happened to him, only to see the four menacing walls too tall for anybody to climb.

The movie has a certain amount of ambiguity that keeps the audience guessing, letting the watchers know just as much as the clueless and amnesiac characters.  Then finally at certain scenes, the movie floods the audience with information that Thomas discovers.

This movie succeeded in creating an emotional rollercoaster throughout the movie, bringing the audience along through the character’s fears, curiosity, and courageousness.  I was able to feel what the characters felt.

Aside from playing to the audience’s emotions, the movie doesn’t linger on the same scene longer than it needs and continues to push the audience further along this rollercoaster.

The movie would have done better if it didn’t keep the audience in the dark as much as it did.  Though parts of the movie were quite effective in how they made the audience just as confused as Thomas, they did it too often to the point that the audience just plainly didn’t know what certain things meant or why they were so important.  This ultimately diminished from the captivation of the movie.

The trend of dystopian movies is getting a bit worn out, but I can say that this movie did a good job in bringing the audience through emotion after emotion and kept the audience in the dark as much as the main character was.  Though it may have missed a few details that were in the book, the movie itself proved to be entertaining and worth a watch.