Tuesday, September 23, 2014

movie review: THE MAZE RUNNER (2014)

The_Maze_Runner_poster(reviews may contain spoilers for those that have never seen the film or are unfamiliar with the characters.)

* * *


Dazed and confused, a teenager is jarred awake when the elevator he's penned in starts moving upwards. Just as abruptly he reaches the surface and is surrounded by a dozen pair of peering eyes staring down at him.

He has arrived in "The Glade", a rectangular patch of green foliage surrounded by extremely high walls. He can't remember why he's there, nor who he is for that matter.

* * *

There seems to be a trend in Hollywood lately where the year's big blockbuster releases are either based on comic book characters or Young Adult novels.

The latest installment is last Friday's release of The Maze Runner, based upon the James Dashner novel of the same name.

Perhaps the best way to describe this film is part Lord of the Flies, part The Running Man and part The Hunger Games.

Don't go expecting to see a character driven film. There simply isn't much development to be found. It's also not really needed. Boy meets flock of boys. Boy sees that there might be a way out. Boy tries to escape.

Parents should have no concern with taking their children to see the film. I think I noticed maybe one swear word in the entire film, and I'm not even sure if it was what I thought it was.

While there's some violence, it's not grievous, and it's nowhere near the gore fest in some of the other films released lately.

Boys should definitely find this film enjoyable; especially if they're the adventurous type.

As for girls? If your daughter prefers playing with Barbie or My Little Pony, she's probably going to find it boring. There's only one girl in the main cast, and she only shows up halfway through the film.

The ending of the film is very clearly open ended, banking on the idea that there will be enough interest to spawn at least one sequel.

20th Century Fox was not disappointed as The Maze Runner topped the box office with approximately $70 million world-wide this last weekend. Not bad for a film that cost $36 million to make, and enough to allow Fox to announce The Maze Runner Chapter II: The Scorch Trials will be hitting the big screen September 2015.

There's been no announcement for The Maze Runner Chapter III: The Death Cure, though you can probably bank on that being made too.

I decided to catch this on IMAX, so the screen was crystal clear, and the sound was VERY loud!! While I understand they advertise IMAX as having explosions more explosive, it was ear splitting, and made me consider getting a pair of good quality earplugs like those worn by performers for the next time. They cut the sound down a notch, yet don't muffle it.

I was a bit surprised to see it wasn't released in 3D, though I'm not sure it would have offered a lot more to the experience.

RATED: 7.0 out of 10 STARS

* * *

The Maze Runner is currently showing in nationwide release, showing nearby at the UA Berkeley 7 and Rialto Cinemas Cerrito theatres.

A full listing of show times and locations can be found at Fandango.

No comments: