Monday, September 22, 2014


*WARNING* Mild spoilers ahead*

Starring: Dylan O'Brien, Kaya Scodelario, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Will Poulter
Release date: September 19th, 2014

I read The Maze Runner at the beginning of this month in preparation of seeing this movie. You can read my review for the book here, if you're so inclined! Long story short, I gave the book a 3.5 out of 5 stars. It had an entertaining premise, the story line was intriguing, but the characters were wooden, and it suffered from a case of "tell-don't-show." However, I was still super excited to see the movie. After all, it looked better than the book.

It was.

I THOROUGHLY enjoyed the movie. I saw it with my mom and dad, and even my dad loved it. A couple weeks ago, I told you that I preferred the movie adaptation of If I Stay to the book. The same thought can be applied here.

Despite various changes being made to the story, I honestly feel like these changes were justified. The Grievers are ten times more terrifying in the movie than in the book, and the eventual escape method from the maze makes that much more sense. The movie also just compacts events slightly, letting the story continue to flow, rather than slow down and speed up at random intervals. Also, I'm really glad they cut Thomas and Teresa's telepathic connection, and their insta-love. In fact, there wasn't a big emphasis on the romance at all, which I actually appreciated.

Speaking strictly of cinematography for a moment, I have one small complaint and one HUGE compliment. My one complaint is that the scene where the Grievers invade the Glade is super shaky and choppy, making it hard to follow what is happening and who is getting taken. However, all of the shots in the Maze are beautiful, especially when Minho and Thomas are running through the outer sections.

For the most part, I was impressed with the acting. Dylan O'Brien just continues to grow on me, and I love the way he let his emotions play on his sleeves. Aml Ameen as Alby was perfect, and Blake Cooper made the SWEETEST Chuck. And you should know for future reference that I absolutely ADORE Thomas Brodie Sangster (AKA Ferb, from Phineas and Ferb), so of course I loved his performance as Newt. I also adore Patricia Clarkson, even though we saw very little of her.

Surprisingly, I really loved Will Poulter as Gally. I absolutely HATED Gally in the book (as I'm sure you're supposed to), but movie Gally was much more sympathetic. He even had his bouts of kindness, rather than being the all-out villain he is in the book.

The only complaint I have acting-wise is that Kaya Scodelario did absolutely nothing for me as Teresa. I know many people love her as an actress, but she did not impress me. That may be due in part to the screenplay, which gave her very little to do in general and made her character less important, at least in this first movie. But overall, her performance was forgettable for me.

All in all, I loved it. It kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time, and even gave me a few laughs. It definitely made me more invested in the story emotionally, and the end punched me much harder seeing it than it did reading the book. If you liked the book at all (or even if you didn't read it!), I definitely recommend you see the movie! The promise of a sequel depends on the success of the first, so go spend some money and see it in theaters!

Rating: 4.75 stars out of 5

Tell me: have YOU seen The Maze Runner yet? If so, let me know what you thought in the comments below! 

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