The Maze Runner (2014)

PG-13   |    |  Action, Mystery, Sci-Fi

The Maze Runner (2014) Poster

Thomas is deposited in a community of boys after his memory is erased, soon learning they're all trapped in a maze that will require him to join forces with fellow "runners" for a shot at escape.


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18 September 2014 | billygoat1071
| Compromises
The appeal of the The Maze Runner for its billion dollar genre is how straightforward everything it seems. It (thankfully) doesn't begin with a voice-over narration, because indeed it's another high concept that designs a world as a mind-bending game. The film already faults for spilling too much rules and details, but when things starts actually moving, the action becomes marvelous, with large scaled, suspense driven set pieces that easily makes it worth the price admission. The worst of it however is when it finally unfolds all of the hidden secrets, compromising much of the potential of this ride. Still, it's pretty hard to deny the excitement of the experience alone. Treating it as another solid action film might be enough for a while.

Things are stronger at the first act when the hero is just picking up information even though the people around him are basically just over-explaining stuff rather than developing their characters. But it's great when it keeps the plot moving from one place to another. Once they get into the maze, the momentum becomes a heartbeat. It works like a certain video game that has its heroes risk through various obstacles, brimmed by conspicuous fortitude. It is a great example of a real action film that relies more on the matter of life and death thrills, even if you're already surrounded by nice production and special effects. There's also an hint of social analogy to fit the genre's trend of playing with politics, except the one here seems simple and intriguing to figure out what it is trying to pinpoint. Everything else is just more scattered clues for the mystery.

But all of those growth suddenly gets bogged down once it hits to their biggest answers. It's obviously setting up for another young adult franchise, but it also hurts to whatever it has put together. At this point, it feels like we're left hanging with more questions, except it's much nonsensical. To be fair after this large disappointment, we're still given a totally fun cinematic experience. The direction is so energetic at its tension, it almost seems to have inspiration some of the greatest horror movie aesthetics and tricks: the ooze, the meat, the traps, the dark walls, and the singular angled chase scenes with the enemy coming closer to the hero. Those are some of its remarkable, well-shot bits that you don't always see in this dull genre. The acting is also good for outweighing what's written for the characters. Dylan O'Brien looks like a hero to root for and he does a fine job for it. Will Poulter also shines as his reasonably arrogant opposite.

The best thing The Maze Runner could offer is the maze itself, though those spectacle couldn't help us ignore the final minutes of the film, but it still overpowers the overall experience. Personally, I would rather look forward more on a video-game adaptation (if it's even possible) than the sequels, but I don't know. It's pretty hard to see where this story is going. It instantly compromises some larger picture beneath the surfaces.for the sake of being another million dollar franchise, but this one has a direction of its own, despite that their destiny seems to lack the freshness. The cleverly constructed action just adds the value, otherwise.

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Box Office


$34,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$32,512,804 21 September 2014

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:


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