Monday, September 29, 2014

{Movie Review} The Maze Runner

{Movie Review} The Maze Runner
Director: Wes Ball
Book Author: James Dashner
Release Date: September 2014
Thomas is deposited in a community of boys after his memory is erased, soon learning they're all trapped in a maze that will require him to join forces with fellow "runners" for a shot at escape.

After reading The Maze Runner, I was a little worried about how the sci-fi aspects of the book would translate over to the movie adaptation, but after seeing the movie, it was really good!  I was so impressed with what was changed for the movie and actually found myself wishing that the book was a little more like the movie.  I feel like the book focused more on psychological factors, such as slowly revealing what was happening with the maze and the fear that the boys had to endure.  The movie quickly told the audience about the inner workings of the maze and focused more on the politics of the Glade, as well as adding A LOT more action.  

Like I mentioned above, there were several aspects of the movie that differed from the book, which I will go more in-depth in my spoiler section below.  I think that if the book would have had the action that the movie had, it would have been PERFECT!  I do wish that the maze would have been revealed slower, but after seeing all of the action they added, I know that it would have been impossible to have both.  I think that action in this movie makes it a lot more appealing to non-readers.

I thought that the casting for this movie was very well done.  I LOVED Dylan O’Brien as Thomas and thought that he did an amazing job as the character.  I almost liked Thomas better in the movie than I did in the book.  I thought he was so good at showing emotions through his facial expressions so that the audience could really know what he was feeling and thinking.  I also loved the casting of Ki Hong Lee as Minho.  He also did a really amazing job!  The casing of Alby (Aml Ameen), Chuck (Blake Cooper), Newt (Thomas Brodie-Sangster), and Gally (Will Poulter) were also very good.  I think that the only casting I was not in love with was that of Teresa (Kaya Scodelario).  I did not hate her as Teresa, but I just kind of felt like she was there.  She was not bad, but she was also not great either.  

I thought that the set for the movie was really great.  However, I did imagine the maze and Glade different in my mind.  In fact, I pictured almost everything different while reading the book, but I don’t think that was necessarily a bad thing.  I liked my vision of the Glade better, but I liked the maze better in the movie than what I pictured it to be.  I also pictured the Grievers to be very different in my head, but I do think that they were more terrifying in the movie.

Overall, I would say that I liked the movie and the book about the same!  If they were combined, it would have been the perfect book, but I am still really happy with both of them.  I am a person who does not read the book if I watched the movie first because I don’t like knowing what happens, but I would say that these two differ enough that reading the book would be a different experience from the movie.  I would highly recommend the book and the movie, especially since it was announced that the second book, The Scorch Trials, is going to be made into a film as well.  After the end of The Maze Runner, I really REALLY want to read the second book in The Maze Runner trilogy!

From this point on I am going to be discussing in-depth spoilers from the film so if you do not want to be spoiled, STOP READING! sure to check out my rating at the very bottom of this post!

I have to say that my absolute favorite thing that was changed from the book was the ending.  I really loved how they discovered how to escape the maze.  I thought it was a lot more exciting and I loved being able to see and explore the maze more in-depth.  I felt like the movie made the maze seem more intricate and deeper than I had imagined it in the book.  I really liked that the “tracker” that was found in the Griever was what led them to the exit.  I am SO glad that they did not go the route of the invisible Griever Hole because I think that it would not translate to film well at all.  I actually kind of wish that the book’s ending would have been the same as the film’s because I preferred it much more!  

I am glad that the lizards with WICKED written on them were not in the movie because I thought that they were really corny in the book.  I am also really happy that Teresa and Thomas did not have telepathic powers in the movie that they had in the book.  I was fearful that it would end up like The Host, which was extremely awkward and laughable.  

I was a little disappointed with what they changed with Gally’s character.  He did not get stung by a Griever, which made him not get any of his memories back of the outside world.  I liked that in the book Gally was scared of getting out of the maze because of what was waiting for them, but the movie did not cover that aspect at all.  In fact, it was not hinted AT ALL what was happening outside of the maze until the very end, which pretty much just told them what was happening.  However, I did like that instead of being taken by a Griever, he decided to stay in the maze rather than escaping.

I was also disappointed with the fact that the “cure” for getting stung by a Griever was not provided to the boys from the very beginning like it was in the book.  I thought it was weird that Teresa had two vials that she found in her pocket and that was how they got the cure.  

I also had a difficult time really connecting to the characters.  I did not feel any extreme emotions when Chuck was shot or any of the other major characters died.  I did have a hard time connecting with them in the book as well since they lacked a lot of back story, but I did have emotions when characters died, especially Chuck and Alby.

Winner: TIE

{Movie Rating}

So if you have seen the movie, what did you think?  Did you like the book or the movie better?

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