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‘Maze Runner’ exceeds expectations with quality cinematic elements

“Maze Runner” -Starring Dylan O’Brien, Kaya Scodelario, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Will Poulter, Blake Cooper

7.5 out of 10

By Gabe Morrison ’17

After walking into “The Maze Runner” with low expectations, its fast paced action, suspense, quality soundtrack and sufficient acting left me pleasantly surprised.

The film is a mostly faithful adaptation of James Dashner’s book with the same title, but there are slight differences.

The plot follows Thomas (Dylan O’Brien), the protagonist and his entrance into a dystopian society, the Glade.

A verdant mix of farmland and forest, the glade is filled with teenage boys, the “Gladers”, and surrounded by a towering maze that moves each night and is filled with terrifying creatures called “Grievers.

After Thomas’ entrance into the glade, the viewer gets a quick explanation of the what the Gladers know, which is very little.

The Glader society relies on everyone working to farm and grow food, while a select few, the runners, traverse the encompassing labyrinth in the hope of finding an escape.

Thomas’ curiosity regarding the maze leads him to eventually become a runner, and this action charges the rest of the plot.

The biggest downfall of “The Maze Runner” is the character development.

Many primary characters such as Thomas, as well as fellow Gladers Newt (Thomas Brodie-Sangster) and Gally (Will Poulter) are all relatively undeveloped, with their only notable characteristics being curiosity, friendliness and fear of change respectively.

The one redemptive character in the movie is Chuck, (Blake Cooper) whose thoughtful and compassionate nature and bravery help balance out other characters’ lack of clarity.

Though I doubt in the film will be receiving any Oscars, I thought the cast overall turned in a fairly believable performance.

The best performance probably came from Will Poulter, who did a good job portraying Gally’s struggle to change.

Other young adult movies of this genre have become unrealistic with exaggerated combat skills of teens, but “The Maze Runner” showed a more seemingly, more realistic portrayal of their potential abilities.

Similar to many other recent films, “The Maze Runner” soundtrack relies heavily on orchestral strings backed with drums. This formula is effective, intensifying large moments while making others more poignant.

“The Maze Runner” has some strong cinematic elements such as music and plot, and it has hit-or-miss acting with fallbacks in characterization.

I give “The Maze Runner” 7.5 out of 10.

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