Starring: Dylan O’Brien, Kaya Scodelario, Will Poulter
Director: Wes Ball
Running Time: 113 mins
The Maze Runner is an American film about a boy who is sent to a secluded community of other boys after having his memory wiped. There, he must face the daily hardships and tensions with others in order to survive and find a way of escaping and finding out what he is really doing there.
There’s no other way to put it, apart from the fact that this film was boring. It’s another young adult survival story (but I can’t badmouth it for that, because I like The Hunger Games, so that’s a bit hypocritical), it has very little in the way of an interesting or intelligent story, it’s quite an ugly film to watch, the performances are quite average, and there’s never any tension that brings any excitement to what should be a pulsating action film.
I’ll start with what I found to be the most disappointing part of this film: the story. It’s got the formula to be an interesting, tense and action-packed young adult plot, however what it doesn’t do is provide any intelligent subtext beneath the action, it’s nowhere near emotional enough, seeing as it’s such a tough situation for the boys, and the characters barely develop throughout the story, apart from some extremely forced changes towards the end, and it was all of that that really bored me.
And the problem is that, despite this film still being full of action throughout, none of that action is exciting or entertaining to watch. There are bursts of supposed tension and high stakes when the boys enter ‘the maze’, but you never really feel that, so, even in those parts of the film, where it doesn’t need to be so intelligent, it’s even more boring to watch.
Also, I was really annoyed by how this film looks. If you remember the infamous shaky cam from the first Hunger Games movie, then you’ve got a picture of what this is like to watch. It’s not as blurry as that, but it’s still got annoying shaky cam, coupled with a very dull and boring set design; the place where the boys live just seems like the middle of some random woods, not a particularly harsh environment, whilst the maze is a really grey and unexciting landscape that adds to the lack of enjoyability when the boys venture there.
Finally, the acting in this film was surprisingly mediocre. There are some great young actors here, including Will Poulter and Thomas Brodie-Sangster, but they, along with their co-stars, fail to make any of the characters at all interesting and outstanding. Of course, the poor writing doesn’t help, but all of the performances seem forced and dull, which pretty much fits with the overall extremely boring and unexciting atmosphere of the whole film, so that’s why it gets a 4.7.