“The Maze Runner” is an interesting story focusing on the strengths and weaknesses of the characters. And yes, the special effects are pretty good too. The movie is based on the novel by James Dashner.
Thomas (Dylan O’Brien) finds himself thrust into a world with boundaries inhabited by several other young men–young men like himself who can’t remember their own names for a time. Thomas finally does remember, but like the rest of them can’t remember what happened to him or why he has wound up in this world with walls leading to mazes, mazes that only certain “runners” can try to navigate their way through. None ever survive. Thomas decides quickly that he would rather face the mazes and attempt to find a way to escape than remain in a hopeless situation, held as a prisoner in this world that severely limits his freedom.
He must confront Gally (Will Poulter), the leader of the young men. Gally is a by-the-book survivalist who has no interest in trying to escape. He just wants to live. Thomas eventually becomes a runner and actually returns from the maze by defeating one of the enemies, a gigantic spider-like creature that is part mechanical and called a Griever. Thomas brings a previous runner back with him, and for the first time several of the boys have hope that an escape might be possible. But Gally isn’t buying any of it. Things become more complicated when a girl named Teresa (Kaya Scodelario) becomes the first female to arrive in their world. Thomas continues to probe and learns a few surprising tidbits regarding this world they are in and who is behind keeping them locked in.
The movie features several nice human elements, including a young man named Chuck (Blake Cooper) who gives a wood carving to Thomas and tells him that although he doesn’t know his own parents, he wants Thomas to give them the carving when he gets out.
Regrettably, the movie contains strong language and a few violent scenes that feature blood. Therefore we are unable to award this film our Dove Family-Approved Seal. Although the film has an intriguing plot, it is a dark movie. The cliffhanger ending sets up a second film.