Starring: Dylan O'Brien, Kaya Scodelario, Will Poulter, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Aml Ameen, Ki Hong Lee 

I notice post-apocalyptic and dystopia themes seem to be all the rage lately. Honestly speaking, I don't minding reading them. With a good plot and great characterisations, they could linger in your mind for a long time.

The Maze Runner by James Dashner. I have this book for a while but just never got around to reading it. It is one of those reading mood thing, which I'm sure many readers are able to relate. I'm also one of those readers who would prefer to reading the book first than watching the film adaptation, but sometimes it's the timing that overtakes the mood and The Maze Runner is one of those moments.

Thomas wakes up and find himself in an elevator. He has no memory who he is and why he's lying in the elevator. When he steps out of it when it landed, all he could see is a vast land and some boys about his age. They "welcomed" him to the glade; an enclosed environment where they grow their own food and supplies given from below. Every 30 days a new boy will arrive to the glade and Thomas, no doubt is a newbie. They teach him all the knacks of living there, but told him not to enter into the maze under any circumstances.

Thomas gets curious and that feeling intensifies after he saw a few boys entering into the maze when its door opens during the day. The answer he got is they are the runners and they are trying to find a way to escape through it that surrounds their living space. However, it has taken them years as the maze changes; plus there are dangerous creatures looming around it too. Thomas wants to be one of the runners, but the others felt he isn't ready but of course there's always the surprise. 

Then a comatose girl arrives with a strange note, and they are more determined to find ways of escaping when they knew the elevator will no longer comes up to the glade. That also means their supplies would be cut off too. They are on their own, and whatever are in store for them. 

I have to say The Maze Runner has a great concept. I have always been fascinated by books or movies that have a maze or lybrinth setting. The possibilities there are endless. Intrigue or horror? Or better still, both. I remember Stephen King's The Shining and there's a scene of a maze too. That film is a classic and to this day that particular scene of a boy running from his father at the hotel's hedge maze still lingers in my mind. The concept, no doubt, is different but what I'm trying to say is mazes have a mysterious factor that is captivating.

That said, as much as I find The Maze Runner intriguing, it doesn't hook me as I'd wanted to. I think the story and the characterisations are great, but there are times it left me wondering the purposes behind the overall scenarios. I felt the boys' determination and there are a few who are courageous enough, but somehow I felt it is as if they are waiting for something bigger to happen when they have the gists of what's happening around them. Perhaps this is done so intentionally to build up the intensity, but I felt it made the characters weak, and I'm sure some of them have great potential. My favourite character among all? Minho, the leader of the runner. 

Maybe my feelings might be different if I'd read the book first, I don't know, but I was a bit disappointed with the film. However, if you are going for the visual effects, you won't be disappointed.

At this point I'm not really in a hurry to read the book after knowing the gist of this first installment. That said, I understand there are readers who love this trilogy so this is probably just me. I may want to watch the second installment, being the curiosity type and I hope it'd be better.

8 Responses
  1. I haven't read the books and with the movie release I've been a bit curious. Will probably wait until it's out of the theater, though.

  2. Melody Says:

    Trish - I'm curious to hear your thoughts if you watch it. I asked my husband for his opinions and he said it was a so-so movie. He said he preferred The Hunger Games better and I've to remind him that they're different. :p

  3. I went to see the movie as well, not having yet read the book. I really liked the movie although I do know what you mean. It did seem to lack something, although I can't quite put my finger on it. Like you, I wondered if my not having read the book first played a part in that. I do want to read the book more now though--I want to know more about the characters. Hopefully the book offers more insight into the characters.

    Hunger Games was definitely a better movie, comparing the too.

  4. Melody Says:

    Wendy - I think that's it, that we've yet to read the book and we dive into the movie first, hehe. I hope you enjoy the book. For me it'd be a matter of waiting for my mood to strike. ; p

  5. Unknown Says:

    I agree -- a maze or labyrinth is a wonderful concept for a story. It's a shame you didn't find this movie all that compelling.

  6. Melody Says:

    Irene - I suppose I walked into the theatre with a high expectation. Hopefully the next one won't disappoint.

  7. jenclair Says:

    I still haven't read the book, but it is one my list!

  8. Melody Says:

    Jenclair - Looking forward to your review if you get to it.

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