Rating : 5/10
Release Date : 19th September, 2014
Time : 123 minutes
Director: Wes Ball; Writers: Noah Oppenheim, Grant Pierce Myers, TS Nowlin (based on the novel by James Dashner); Music : John Paesano
Starring : Dylan O’Brien, Aml Ameen, Ki Hong Lee, Blake Cooper, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Will Poulter, Kaya Scodelario, Patricia Clarkson
This is one of those films where nothing really makes sense, you don’t truly understand what’s happening, if you haven’t read the book or seen the second (soon to be released) part. There is a certain sense of mystery / intrigue at the situation, and you do feel for the likeable, Dylan, but he keeps getting thrown into different situations without us really getting to know him or the situation better.
Dylan wakes up in an elevator, without an recollection of who he is or why / how is he there. The elevator reaches a glen where there are other boys, pretty much in the same predicament. The glen is surrounded by a tall maze. Which opens and shuts everyday. And changes shape. Also contains creatures called the Grievers which kill the boys. And the only way out, is through this maze.
Aml Ameen is the leader of the boys in the glen, the first one to arrive some three years ago. Thomas Brodie-Sangster (great to see him all grown up after Love Actually) and Will Poulter (Of We’re The Millers fame) are amongst the trusted old hands, while Blake Cooper is the baby of the group and Ki Hong Lee one of the runners, those who’re fast / strong and go in and out of the maze on a daily basis trying to find a way out. Life in the glen has a pretty defined pattern but all that changes after Dylan’s arrival…
What keeps the film going are the various challenges thrown at the group, the vastness of the maze, the inherent dangers faced from the Grievers – everything happens very quickly. Which leads to the main flaw in the film – because things happen so fast, you don’t really get to know anyone, understand / like / dislike any of the boys (apart from the instinctive feel) or really appreciate the situation as even that keeps changing !
I guess the special effects, the huge set, just the idea of such a situation makes this film worthy of a one time watch, but only that…and only just…