The Maze Runner ***

“The Maze Runner” is an interesting little mystery thriller that actually tells a pretty compelling story. It also features some intriguing set designs as well as good performances. I guess you can’t ask for much more than that can we?

As the film opens we meet the hero, Thomas, as he seems to be ascending up a cage like elevator. When he reaches the surface he is greeted by a shabby looking group of young men who tell him that he has no memory but his name will come back to him within a few days. Seems very odd and disorienting at first. The men live in a large open area with sporadic forests around them which they call the Glade. Surrounding the Glade are large concrete walls which periodically open from time to time. Beyond the walls is an enormous maze of cement and metal. Within the maze are strange mechanical spiders that the men call Grievers. 

The Greivers themselves are kind of a clunky CGI creation. I found the maze itself to be the star of the show. The set design and the effects that went into creating were pretty cool. Although you can tell a lot of it is created with CGI, the overall effect was not lost on me. 

Director Wes Ball I am not familiar with and since his wikipedia page is so short I am left to assume that this is his feature film directing debut.  He brings some neat visual style and seems willing to film stunts with actual people.  I didn’t really enjoy some of the CGI effects involving the creatures but I guess we have to accept that these days. A sequel is coming in 2015 and I hope that they up the ante and create more danger.

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