Friday, March 13, 2015

[Movie] 'The Maze Runner' was wicked

Unremarkable title with unremarkable trailer. But I watched it anyway because my chief editor said that the film was based on a book with the same title by James Dashner. In my experience, when Hollywood made a film adaptation for a piece of literature, it usually went sideways. So I walked to the cinema, bought the ticket with an extra large cup of Pepsi and popcorn, just in case I was wasting my time but still had my dinner while at it.

Turns out my chief editor was right. The movie was just.. it blew my mind. Full of mysteries, unexpected things, unanswered questions, no wonder the trailer was unremarkable. Starred by Dylan O'Brien, Kaya Scodelario, Aml Ameen, Thomas Brodie- Sangster, Will Poulter, Ki Hong Lee, Blake Cooper, and many. This movie have a lot of characters, as in the book. Though I heard that this movie is slightly different from the book. Ok, maybe not slightly...

Anyway, I think I can agree that this movie did have a very slow beginning. Almost a quarter if not more of this movie was spent on establishing the atmosphere of enigma. The movie started with a male teenager regaining consciousness in a moving maintenance elevator. The teenager was disoriented, not knowing whats happening, surrounded by a group of other male teenagers when he got to the surface of whatever that he originally comes from.

Later, he regain back his memory too, as he was made familiar by other male teenagers about the place that he was in. His name was Thomas (Dylan O'Brien), and that place is called the Glade. The leader of the teenagers group, Alby (Aml Ameen), told Thomas that what everyone in the Glade had the same experience as he was. They all came from the maintenance elevator which they called it the Box, once in a month, along with some supplies.

Thomas was restless, eager to find out what is actually happening. Because the Glade isn't just a simple settlement. Its like an isolated island, in middle of a really huge Maze. Which confuses Thomas even more, so many questions with no answers, who are they and why are they all in the Maze? Why is he having a dream where a strange woman kept saying "Wicked is good"? And what's that sound coming from the Maze?

The Maze only open during the day and nobody goes into the Maze other than the maze runner. The Glade inhabitants also have developed their own community where everyone is tasked with a job suited to their aptitude. There are the builders, cooks, med-jacks, but most dangerous of them all are maze runners. Only the strongest, fastest, and above all else, superior sense of direction and memory capabilities, are selected to be the maze runners. They also need to be super brave.

Why? Oh, did I mentioned that there are monsters in the Maze? The Gladers called the monsters as the Griever. Good thing that the Griever only comes out at night and the gates that leads to the Maze are automatically closed during the night. So, the runners are ok as long as they return back from the Maze before nightfall. But its called the Maze for a reason, not the Park. Otherwise the maze runners would be having a walk in the Park.

As more things are revealed, more mysteries pop in too. Not long after Thomas's arrival, the Box stirred up and brings up a girl named Teresa (Kaya Scodelario). Which is the first time ever, and she also had a note with her saying that she is the last one ever. Well, that doesn't sound good, at all. This is the part where the Gladers are divided whether they should stay or leave, or something even worse would happen.

Due to the urgency of the whole situation, Thomas was told by Minho, the maze runner group leader, that they actually had mapped the whole Maze completely. But there was no way out, they never found one. The only difference was a section numbered 7, which had a Griever roaming around during broad daylight, which never happened before, but happened anyway right after Thomas's arrival. Minho and Thomas speculated that this might be their big break.

And things started to move faster and became worse than it already had. Before they could take their sweet time and ponder on all of these happenings and clues, the Maze gate was opening from all side, even during nightfall. And that very night, the Glade was attacked by the Grievers. Yes, lots of Grievers, and lots of Gladers lost during that night, including the Gladers' leader, Alby.

Run everyone! Juzzz RUUNNNNN!!!
Afraid and confused, the Gladers were divided especially with their leader, Alby, was taken by the Grievers. Thomas urged that they leave by the opening that they found in the section numbered 7, supported by the Glader's second-in-command, Newt (Thomas Brodie-Sangster), while others wanted to stay, lead by Gally (Will Poulter). Both faction almost clashed, but Thomas's faction managed to escape when it was apparent that Gally have gone mental, especially when he tried to 'sacrifice' Thomas and Teresa to the Grievers in an attempt to 'appease' the monsters.

The group retrace back where the Griever emerged from during the daylight, and use the Griever access hole as their escape route which should lead to outside of the Maze. But that will also means that they'll face the Grievers straight on. Then again, they all dead meat anyway, so might as well die fighting than sitting somewhere in the corners hugging their own knees.

So did they escape? Did they solved the Maze mysteries? In a way, yes. But their story had not ended yet. The Maze was just a beginning. And the world was in need of miracles. I was also ran out of popcorn and Pepsi. The movie was quite amazing, slow paced, but its a thriller. The suspense was well built, almost 'Shutter Island'-like, with a dose of 'Lord of the Flies' atmosphere. I can't wait for the next sequel.

If the movie was this great, I wonder how the book it was adapted from would be like. Now I definitely have to go and get the book. The whole trilogy of it.


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