ith well-paced storytelling and a classic locked room (or locked labyrinth) plot, “The Maze Runner” film franchise is off to a more than decent start.
Despite its PG-13 YA stylings and caricaturish, almost forced interactions with stock in-trade cliché characters, this movie is not only interesting as far as cliff-hanger mysteries go, it also delivers enough action and derring-do featuring athletic young men and one very sultry-looking girl to keep audiences in their seats even through the long, weary, and awkwardly–handled establishing sequences of the Glade how the schedule of the shifting Maze affects their lives.
Apparently, whoever put the boys in the maze also has a penchant for chinos and cheap jeans.
The movie starts with Thomas (Dylan O’Brien) wakes up to find himself with a bad case of amnesia and a huge headache among a bunch of, more or less, similarly aged young men – except Chuck (Blake Cooper), a boy who’s around 12 years old.
His new community call themselves Gladers (well, they ARE in a glade), and the leader Alby (Aml Ameen) explains to him the lay of the land and the labyrinth, about how the doors to the maze periodically open, allowing the boys to explore and map it, and about how a fresh batch of supplies come up every time another boy is thrust into the maze around once a month. Thing is, they also close without warning and nobody who’s spent the night outside has ever survived, thanks mostly to scary monsters called Grievers, whose sting infects those bitten with poison that transforms them into rampaging murderers .
The politics of the Glade and the community itself begins to change when the latest arrival turns out to be a girl, Teresa (Kaya Scodelario). Couple that with how Thomas and Minho (Ki Hong Lee) survived a night by killing a Griever and successfully bringing back a wounded Alby, and the rest of the Gladers are understandably upset at how Thomas “The Greenie” has clusterfucked the rest of them by, seemingly, his mere presence.
- None of the other teenage boys have any memory of their previous life.
- What is the purpose of The Maze?
- What would realistically happen when one pretty girl is thrust into a community of about two dozen teen boys?
I expect the next two movies in this franchise, The Scorch Trials and the Death Cure, to be better produced and better directed, Mr. first-time-Hollywood-movie-director Wes Ball.
8. THE MAZE RUNNER BOOK TRILOGY
James Dashner has garnered pretty decent success with its sci-fi premise and plot that becomes bigger and more immersive as each novel progresses to a bigger twist in a post-apocalyptic world scorched by solar flares and ravaged by survival woes.
After the first novel, “The Scorch Trials” reveals that the escape from the Maze doesn’t mean automatic freedom for Thomas and the Gladers. The Maze survivors now have two weeks to cross through the Scorch—the most burned-out section of the world. And the mysterious organization known as WICKED has made sure to stack the odds against them. “The Death Cure” features the culimantion of Thomas and gang’s battle against WICKED and how the end game may just annihilate everything that is still left in the world, as well as the chance to save it from itself.
7. THE LORDS OF THE GLADE
6. BEWARE THE GRIEVERS
5. RUNNERS LIKE ROCKSTARS
4. TERESA AGNES: ONE GIRL, LOTSA BOYS
3. W.C.K.D. IS GOOD?
2. THOMAS THE GREENIE
1. HOW HUGE THY MAZE
The Maze Runner will screen in Metro Manila theaters and on IMAX experience where available on September 17.