THE MAZE RUNNER
Direction: Wess Ball
Actors: Dylan O’Brien, Kaya Scodelario
The ongoing influx of teen fiction adaptations has yielded such dystopian fantasies as The Hunger Games, The Giver and Divergent. Now, add The Maze Runner to that list.
Based on the novel of the same name by James Dashner, the sci-fi tinged tale is set in a devastated futuristic world. Graphics designer turned first-time feature filmmaker Wes Ball has done a commendable job in telescoping the story for the big screen.
In an attention-grabbing opening sequence, a young boy (O’Brien, top-lining a Brit-heavy cast) awakes in a fast-moving elevator with no memory of his former life or the outside world. Alighting into blinding sunlight, he finds himself trapped in a gigantic ever-changing stone maze, accompanied by a bunch of fellow stranded teens, determined to find a way out of the labyrinth. The film doesn’t pander overly to the young adult demographic. Besides successfully creating a nightmarish environment, the $40 million-plus adventure boasts a hyperkinetic pace and striking visual design. In the event, nuances of character are by and large forsaken.