Film Review – The Maze Runner

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School Holidays. Two words that strike fear into the hearts of most parents. What to do with the young people who would normally be at school?

It’s a time of year when cinemas are full of kid friendly fare, and the next couple of weeks are no exception. From family films like Disney’s Planes: Fire & Rescue to The Boxtrolls and material for older kids like The Giver , Teenage Mutant Ninja Turltes, Guardians of the Galaxy and now The Maze Runner, it can add to an expensive fortnight for parents.

With the ubiquitous byline “based on the best-selling novel”, The Maze Runner tells the story of Thomas, who is deposited in a community of boys after his memory is erased, soon learning they’re all trapped in a maze that will require him to join forces with fellow “runners” for a shot at escape.

Young Adult – or YA – fiction is a crowded field these days.. and it’s come a long way since Enid Blyton and Judy Bloom. It’s also very different to the teen flicks of the 80’s. Today’s teenagers can expect to swap the hairdryers for machetes as they almost always do battle to both each other and various enemies.

Like Divergent, The Hunger Games, Tomorrow When the War Began, to Ender’s Game to the Giver, The Maze Runner starts in the not too distant future.

A teenage boy wakes up in an elevator hurtling upwards.

He arrives in a place called The Glade inhabited only by other teenage boys.

There are four walls surrounding the Glade and beyond those walls lies a maze, inhabited by alien spider creatures called Grievers. Perhaps borrowing from Joss Whedon’s Reavers, the monsters from his sci-fi film Serenity.

It’s pretty solid. Keen to have the story paid off in the sequel rather than draw it our over too many more films. It was packed with teenagers, so expect this one to be a school holiday box office smash.

3 Stars.

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