The Maze Runner

Maze Runner Poster

So I went to check out The Maze Runner last night. Like so many other books, it’s been languishing on my TBR pile for ages. Only in the case of this book a friend with similar reading tastes advised me NOT to read it. So heeding her advice, I didn’t.

Only now I kind of want to disregard her advice. I’m usually one of those people who will read the book prior to seeing the movie and it’s not often that seeing the movie will make me want to read the book. This one of those rare cases. But it’s probably not for the reasons you might think. I’ll explain.

I have to admit, going into the film I didn’t know much more than the title and the general premise. I knew there was a glade and there was a maze that the boys ran through, but that was about it.

Starting off, I was a little bored. The idea that there was a society of teen males that were organized and living in harmony was a bit off for me. I was imagining more ‘Lord of the Flies’ type stuff happening rather than boys going about their chores without a complaint. I’m not saying that it’s not possible. With a strong leader it could, but Alby didn’t come across as the type who could keep all those boys in line. I’m not saying that he couldn’t, but the film didn’t show him doing much before he’s put out of commission by a griever sting, then saved, then becomes overcome with memories about the truth of their situation which he can’t share because he’s so distraught…and then killed.

Anyway, once the story got going I started to forget all that and focused on Gary Stu…I mean Thomas. His character grated on me. A guy who couldn’t remember more than his name and being dropped in a place where he had no idea what the hell was going on, he would just do what he wanted when he felt like it. And then got away with it. Common sense would dictate that he give sway to the more experienced of the group but nope, he just relied on luck.

Of course, we’re supposed to be on his side with him being the hero and all and I agreed that they had to get out of the maze, etc, but the way he went about it drove me nuts. Then again, without his character the story would have been about a bunch of guys singing kumbaya in the middle of a giant maze. So, again, I just went with it.

What I found most interesting was the world outside of the maze that you see in the last few minutes of the film. I’m a sucker for post-apocalyptic stories. The more devastating the better. In this world, the sun’s burned up the surface of the planet leaving a few survivors who then are being killed off by a plague. There are only a few that can withstand it and they are sent to the maze so scientists can study their brain functions…okay…sure. Why not?

What I want to know is why the doctors testing them felt that they had to fake their own deaths to ‘bait’ them for the next phase of testing. Also, what did a test of brain function have to do with finding a cure for a virus born plague? Whatever findings they get from the boys, it wouldn’t be transferable to the masses. It’s not like you can grow/rewire a brain to spec with a pill. The bioengineering involved would be insane. Wouldn’t it be faster and most cost effective to find a way of preventing a person from catching it since viruses can’t replicate unless it’s inside the body of a host? Even looking for a treatment once the plague is contracted is more logical.

What I want to know is more about the world and if any of these questions can be answered in a satisfying manner. Which is why I’ll read the books.

As a film, it’s not bad. Great visuals, which I’m always into. Some good action sequences. The grievers are pretty terrifying with the cyborg spider thing they’ve got going on. All in all, The Maze Runner is good for some mindless entertainment, just don’t start analysing.