movies: the maze runner

the maze runner
I'll be honest, I wasn't expecting a hell of a lot from The Maze Runner. I mainly wanted to see it because it stars Teen Wolf actor, Dylan O'Brien.

What I got was a movie that was a lot darker and had a much more interesting concept. And there also wasn't a single dud performance from the young cast.

And given that I recognised a lot of the cast from other things, which they've also been great in, I wasn't really surprised.

Alongside O'Brien there was Thomas Brodie-Sangster (most recently seen in Game of Thrones), Kaya Scodelario (from UK series Skins) and Will Poulter (who has been in a ton of things, but nothing I've seen... he's just got one of those instantly recognisable faces). And they all give remarkably mature performances in what is essentially a "young adult" movie.

I also have to believe that Brodie-Sangster is going to have a really long career playing all manner of interesting character roles... he does it so well, even more so since he's 25 but looks about 17.

Even the actors I hadn't seen before, particularly Ki Hong Lee and Blake Cooper were fantastic. At the beginning of the movie I kind of wrote Cooper's character off as the comedic sidekick, but he won me over very quickly after that... and without delving too much into spoiler territory, he's definitely the emotional heart of the movie.

The story, as I mentioned, it much, much darker than I was expecting, especially towards the end... but this is not a movie for kids, even younger teens might struggle with some of the themes, especially towards the end.

I have to taken some points off due to the fact that the book it's based on is the first of a trilogy (does anyone just write one book in the YA fiction oeuvre any more, or is everybody just automatically given a three book deal?), so the story doesn't resolve cleanly, it's very much the opening chapter of a much longer story. But it did make me want to go out and read all three of the books, although I hope this one does well enough at the box office that they'll make the other two.

And a quick look at IMDB tells me they're in pre-production on the second one, so that's good.

The other reason I have to remove points is because of the really, really shaky camera work from cinematographer Enrique Chediak... especially during some of the fight/battle scenes where it was impossible to actually tell what the hell was going on.

But to be honest those are really small niggles in an otherwise incredibly strong and mature movie.

yani's rating: 4 grievers out of 5

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