I’m a huge fan of James Dashner’s Young Adult Maze Runner book series, so I was both excited and extremely concerned when I saw it was being made into a movie. However, my fears were unfounded for the most part. Like any movie adaptation, there are a few things that are different from the book, but it didn’t deviate enough to cause alarm (only enough to start righteous book rants in the theater when the lights come up).
The Maze Runner film, directed by Wes Ball, was very similar to the book by James Dashner. It was the same group of boys stuck in the glade surrounded by a maze that’s constantly changing and houses deadly creatures in the night.
The cast was a bit hit and miss. Thomas, played by Dylan O’Brien (also on MTV’s Teen Wolf), was phenomenal. He really captured the essence of being both afraid and driven to find a way out of the maze. Kaya Scodelario played Teresa and I wasn’t impressed. She had like ten lines and seemed very insignificant throughout the movie, when she’s a huge player in the book. Other standout characters were Minho and Galley.
The plot of the movie was nearly identical to the book from the way it starts with Thomas coming up in the elevator to the twist at the end. There were a few issues I had from a book-reader-holier-than-movie-watcher way. For example, the way they solve the code to get out of the maze wasn’t the same and the way the doors are locked open at night had slightly different results. The movie made it seem like it was random, where in the book, the Grievers had a very specific task to complete each night. The Grievers were close to how I imagined them, but they weren’t as grotesque. Also, there wasn’t much gore in the movie, which I recall there was more of that in the book. I was also a little disappointed they didn’t stick with the Gladers unique way of cussing. They preserved the curses, but they translated it to boring, real world terms.
Overall, I was thoroughly entertained. This is a fight-for-your-life kind of movie, definitely geared towards boys. However, if you love adventure stories, you’ll love this one. As always, I always recommend the book first, but the movie did it justice.
The one good thing about reading the book is you know what’ll happen next. I was amused at the flabbergasted expressions and remarks of disbelief from people in the theater at the end. All I could do was smile and say, “Wait until you get to book three; that’s when it gets really crazy!”
Great Book. Good Movie. Go see it!
STARS: 5 out of 5