Newest Reviews
Days of the Bagnold Summer
Black Power Mix Tape 1967-1975, The
Apartment 1BR
Looking On the Bright Side
Take Me Somewhere Nice
Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn
Gentlemen Broncos
To the Stars
Lady Godiva Rides Again
Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ
Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, A
This is a Hijack
Loved One, The
Jumanji: The Next Level
Krabi 2562
Call of the Wild, The
Diary of a Country Priest
Sea Fever
Throw Down
Grudge, The
Green Man, The
Specialists, The
Romantic Comedy
Going Ape!
Infinite Football
Little Women
Camino Skies
Another Shore
Cry Havoc
Legend of the Stardust Brothers, The
Mystery Team
Westward the Women
Newest Articles
Who Watched The Watchmen?
The Golden Age of Colonic Irrigation: Monty Python Series 4 on Blu-ray
Lady of Pleasure: Lola Montes on Blu-ray
Take You to the Gay Bar: Funeral Parade of Roses on Blu-ray
Hit for Ms: Mark Cousins' Women Make Film on Blu-ray
Look Sinister: The 1000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse on Blu-ray
Star Wars Triple Threat: The Tricky Third Prequel and Sequel
I Can See for Miles: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes on Blu-ray
Too Much Pressure: The Family Way on Blu-ray
The Alan Key: Alan Klein and What a Crazy World on Blu-ray
A Japanese Ghost Story: Kwaidan on Blu-ray
The Zu Gang: Zu Warriors from the Magic Mountain on Blu-ray
Reality TV: The Year of the Sex Olympics on DVD
The Young and the Damned: They Live By Night on Blu-ray
Mind How You Go: The Best of COI on Blu-ray
Der Kommissar's in Town: Babylon Berlin Series 3 on DVD
The End of Civilisation as We Know It: The 50th Anniversary
The Whalebone Box: The Andrew Kotting Interview
Being Human: The Elephant Man on 4K UHD Blu-ray
It's! Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 3 on Blu-ray
Put the Boot In: Villain on Blu-ray
The Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 2: Vic Pratt Interview
All the Lonely People: Sunday Bloody Sunday on Blu-ray
Desperate Characters: Beat the Devil on Blu-ray
Chansons d'Amour: Alfie Darling on Blu-ray
  Maze Runner, The Into The Labyrinth
Year: 2014
Director: Wes Ball
Stars: Dylan O'Brien, Kaya Scodelario, Aml Ameen, Ki Hong Lee, Blake Cooper, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Will Poulter, Dexter Darden, Chris Sheffield, Joe Adler, Alexander Flores, Jacob Latimore, Randall D. Cuningham, Patricia Clarkson, Don McManus
Genre: Action, Science Fiction, AdventureBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: This young man (Dylan O'Brien) finds himself in a metal cage being speedily transported up through many floors until it stops abruptly and the top opens up to reveal a group of other young men staring at him. He finds that not only does he not know where he is, but he doesn't know where he's been either, as his memory has gone, he cannot even remember his own name. As he emerges from the cage, he is confounded by the group and makes a break for it across a field, but after sprinting away from the hoots of the others he realises there is nowhere to go: there are towering walls all around. There is no escape.

The Hollywood passion for adapting so-called "Young Adult" novels continued apace with the first in a proposed series of James Dashner's The Maze Runner books, and unlike all those which had fallen by the wayside, floundering in the face of public indifference to overcomplicated and overinvolved fantasy scenarios, this one did fairly well. Much of that was down to the production keeping the costs fairly economical, thereby guaranteeing a profit at the box office, but it was also seeking to cash in on the market established by the success of The Hunger Games at the movies, and if nobody was going to rival that any time soon, this was a passable try at conjuring up the style and appeal.

But really it was more of the same, gifted youngsters trapped in a world of menace by shadowy older authorities, forced to work out some puzzle as a challenge to getting to the next level and potential freedom. That's right, there was a computer game tone to much of The Maze Runner too (Pac-Man, anybody?) as the hero, who eventually recalls his name is Thomas, must graduate through an assault course of the titular maze, avoiding great big monsters for no other reason than they were deemed necessary in this kind of science fiction. In fact, once you were at least in possession of some of the plot, the whole set-up came across as a needlessly complex one which would have taken so much time and energy to build as to be pointless.

It was, of course, a large scale test of the mettle of the young men (and one boy, Blake Cooper, whose unexplained presence is a little odd), as puzzles are meant to be solved after all, and Thomas sets about applying himself, often in peril as the monsters prowl the maze surrounding the high walls and are wont to grab and do terrible things to anyone they catch, though what those things were went undepicted thanks to the teen-friendly ratings certificate. You didn't really need bloodthirsty violence in efforts such as this, though if you did you'd probably end up with something akin to a variation on the Cube series, so it was enough to be aware the group were in dire need of escaping, not that ostensible leader Gally (Will Poulter) is in any hurry to allow that.

He reasons they are self-sufficient where they are, but Thomas quickly becomes the new leader thanks to his ingenuity and willingness to explore, thereby moving the narrative along with director Wes Ball's brisk pace. As well as computer games, the results owed something to television shows like the obvious Lost, which had thrived on its enigma, and going back to The Prisoner in the nineteen-sixties which similarly stranded its protagonist in an impossible situation then demanded he do something about it. But in the main this was a decent enough attempt at adventure that couldn't quite get over a contrived and silly premise, which made more sense as a game than it did as a movie (or perhaps even a book series), lending a pandering air in its "this is what the kids like these days, right?" endeavours. It was blessed with a cast of mostly twenty-somethings who seemed destined for greater things, whether as leads or character actors, and they could have chosen worse movies to appear in to raise their profile. Unconvincing, but not a dead loss by any means. Just by some means. Music by John Paesano.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


This review has been viewed 1317 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

Review Comments (0)

Untitled 1

Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
  Hannah Prosser
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
  Butch Elliot
  Rachel Franke
Paul Smith


Last Updated: