Movie Review: The Maze Runner

So I just got home from the movie The Maze Runner. And WOW. It is bad. I did not read the book so I might miss some important information that has been explained in the book but then again, the movie should be understandable on it’s own right? To explain why the movie is so bad, I have to give away the plot. So beware: SPOILERS! Although it doesn’t really matter because I don’t recommend you to go see the movie anyway.

The movie starts with our main character (Thomas) waking up in an elevator. When the elevator stops, he finds himself in the middle of a field with a lot of boys staring at him. It turns out he has lost his memory and every single boy there has gone through the same. All of them seen reluctant to explain anything to him though. So of course, Thomas starts to ask questions, which aren’t being answered. This field is actually some sort of prison, surrounded by a gigantic maze, which is only open at daytime. But no-one is allowed to enter the maze, except for the maze-runners. So of course Thomas asks questions about these rules and the maze, but nobody answers them for some reason. They just don’t bother. So logically Thomas tries to enter the maze and then everyone is mad at him (well then, should’ve answered his questions in the first place, didn’t you?). Thomas also asks why they didn’t built a ladder or something, but the only answer he gets is: ‘that doesn’t work’. Hello, plot-device!

As time passes, more details are explained (why not from the start though? This is just frustrating). Every month a boy comes up with the elevator along with some supplies. This has been happening for 3 years. The maze opens at day and closes at night, and the maze-runners are trying to map the maze. Nobody survives a night in the maze so the runners have to be back on time. And there are monsters called Grievers. But they only appear at night so nobody ever saw one (why would they know they’re there then?). Everyone seems to be at peace with the current situation, except for Thomas. As noted by several characters, Thomas is different. Because he’s curious. Yes, because curiosity isn’t a basic human trait. Oh wait, it is.

Then suddenly, Thomas is attacked by a maze-runner named Ben. It turns out Ben has become insane because he’s being stung (by a Griever supposedly). Obviously everyone is familiar with the concept of being stung because everybody knows what’s going on and they even have some sort of sting-protocol. And everybody is amazed because Ben has been stung during the day. So here’s the thing. They know that people stung  by Grievers become insane. Grievers only appear at night. Nobody survives a night in the maze. HOW do they even know that Grievers sting and what the effects are then!? Anyway, Ben is being locked into the maze and that’s it.

The day after a maze-runner called Minho and Alby (the leader) enter the maze, but when they return the door is already closing and Alby’s being stung so Minho is too slow because he’s dragging Alby’s unconscious body with him. Thomas is unable to watch this and rushes into the maze, locking himself in. Soon after, Grievers appear and while Thomas is trying to hide Alby, Minho flees. So we’ve just seen that the standard protocol for stung people is to lock them into the maze. WHY is Minho slowing himself down by trying to get Alby out of the maze, just to flee after he’s locked himself in? It just doesn’t make sense. Oh yea, the maze changes at night, so Thomas manages to splat a Griever between 2 walls (yea, it was that easy) and so he and Minho survive the night.

When he and Minho return, a character called Gally is angry because Thomas has broken the rules (no-one is allowed to enter the maze). So this character Gally really likes rules. That’s kinda logic because the only way the remain order is to follow some rules. But his character is SO one-dimensional it’s just frustrating to watch.

Suddenly the elevator appears again, this time with a girl with a note saying: ‘this is the last one’. So I thought: ‘this is interesting, the makers of this maze give the boys a way to procreate’. WRONG. That girls is there because… I have no idea, she has no meaning to the plot AT ALL. Except that that she seems to know Thomas’ name. Then she passes out. Thomas and some other maze-runners go back to the maze to investigate the splatted Griever. They discover some kind of device which I will tell you more about later. And Gally is angry again. And Thomas is promoted to maze-runner.

With being a maze-runner comes the privilege to know more information, and Minho tells Thomas that the maze is already fully mapped and that there is no exit. There are 7 sections (if I remember it correctly) which always open and close in a certain order. But the device may be the key to finding about more. The girl wakes up and only seems to trust Thomas, but after a short talk she seems perfectly comfortable with being in a group of 15 to 18 year old boys who haven’t seen a girl in 3 years. Oh yea, she has to antidotes for people who’ve been stung, so they use one on Alby (who is still unconscious though).

Minho and Thomas go back into the maze and soon discover that this functions as a key the the exit that the grievers use to get in and out of the maze. Section 7 is still open (for a reason which isn’t explained) but closes up as soon as they find the exit (also for no reason). They manage to escape and when they return Alby’s woken up. He seems heavily traumatized but seems to got some of his memories back.

Suddenly, the door of the maze doesn’t close at night and more doors open (no explanation again). The village is attacked by Grievers and Alby’s being killed. Thomas manages to get the sting-device and stings himself to get his memories back. Yes, great plan. You have ONE antidote and you just deliberately poisoned yourself. GREAT THINKING. When he wakes up, Gally’s got himself in charge and wants to offer Thomas and the girl (her name is Teresa btw) to the Grievers because he believes that they caused all the trouble. Thomas, who got some of his memories back, explains that he and Teresa are ‘one of them’, the ones that put them into the maze. We don’t get any more explanation than that though. But nobody really cares (exept Gally).

Thomas manages to get some rebels together and flees into the maze, leaving Gally’s group behind. Carrying the key, they just walk towards the exit in section 7 (which is open again, no explanation). They defeat some Grievers, and walk out. YES. Some of those boys have been trapped there for 3 freaking years but Thomas comes in, and because he’s the only one on Earth who has the power of curiosity, they walk out in 5 days or so. They discover some kind of lab with a lot of dead people, and an explanation is given through a television screen.

The Earth has been burnt to crisp because the sun is expanding. But that is not all, there is also some kind of zombie-virus. Why both? Why and expanding sun AND a zombie-virus? That doesn’t make sense at all! Anyway, the children are immune to the virus so they’ve been tested on their whole lives. And what is the best way to test immunity to a virus? Of course, by dissecting brains and trap them into a giant maze and sending monsters to them so a great deal of them die. Why? WHY?

Oh yea, Gally’s followed them, but he’s being stung and he has found a gun an he doesn’t want to leave so he shoots someone. Then they kill Gally. DRAMA WHOO, didn’t see that coming (wait I did, that character that died was solely written to die). How is it logical for Gally to shoot? NO IDEA! So it turns out that the lab was attacked by some kind of terrorists/rebels and they free the kids from the lab and that’s the end. But we see the woman on the video (that supposedly died) saying that the kids ‘took the bait’ and that it is time for phase 2.

That’s it! That’s the movie. Why didn’t they explain everything to Thomas from the start? Because. Why didn’t they build a ladder? Because. Why did no-one manage to kill a Griever before? Because. Why is Thomas the only one who doesn’t accept this fate? Because. Why didn’t Gally want to leave the mazes and shoots someone? Because. Why did section 7 stay open, closes again and opens again? Because. Why was the girl added to the plot? Because. Why did they know about the concept of being stung? Because. How is there enough food for them to survive? Because.

I can go on and on about the questions that aren’t being answered, but this blog is too long already. I know a great deal of things is probably going to be explained in the next movies (like why Thomas and Teresa are ‘one of them’ and what the hell the purpose of the maze was), but I suspect that a lot things are just there because they are. And that is enormously frustrating. Technically, this is a good movie, the CGI was good and the pace was good and the actors aren’t bad. But the story is abominable. I’m going to read the book because I can’t believe that a book so bad as this movie could’ve been made into a movie and I want to know the true explanation of things. This movie has so many plotholes a black hole would be impressed.



About Tekira

26 year old psychologist, on the quest of finding a job, loves anime and games.

One thought on “Movie Review: The Maze Runner

  1. Anita says:

    I think I also have to read the book, because sometimes no matter how good the intentions of all involved a book is a book and a movie is a movie.

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