Film #135: The Maze Runner (2014)

mrDirector: Wes Ball
Language: English
Length: 113 minutes
Watched on: 22 Dec 2014

I’m basically right outside the target demographic for this movie now, but since this kind of dystopian YA fiction is so popular now, I thought I should give it a try to see what the fuss is about. I’ve heard The Hunger Games is better, though.

Most of what I’ve already seen of this is people online fawning over the relationship between the two main characters, one of which is a hunky Korean guy, and the other is the scrawny guy from Teen Wolf. I’d been led to believe that there was some kind of ambiguous romance between the two, so let me just start by saying that such a thing was not present at all, besides some very furtive glances, which I don’t think count.

What the film does have, though, is fifteen or so ambiguously teenage boys running around and getting into fights with each other, so I can at least forgive it that much.

The plot is, to say the least, quite complicated. It requires rather a lot of exposition to work out what’s going on, and even then I was left confused by the end of the movie. When your central conceit – in this case that the boys find themselves with a severe case of amnesia in the centre of a deadly maze that they run around to try and get out of – requires that much explanation, it’s time to tone it down, frankly. On a more basic level, the movie borrows a lot from Lord of the Flies, down to having an ersatz Piggy, also the one character that actually looks like a teenager instead of pushing thirty.

What’s more, the actor who did most of that exposition used to be the kid in Love Actually, which made him hard to take seriously. I felt like quoting Malcolm Tucker for most of the movie. Actually, I told a lie, he also looks like a teenager, but I think he’s actually older than me.

So it was a enjoyable enough way to spend a couple of hours on a plane, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to watch the sequel. I’m still interested in seeing The Hunger Games, though.


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