FILM REVIEW: THE MAZE RUNNER (12A)

This fantasy actioner from James Dashner’s best-selling novel proves it’s good enough to be talked about in the same breath as The Hunger Games.

It may bear a few striking similarities to the aforementioned box-office game-changer – but this is an enjoyable teen-orientated romp in it’s own right.

With amiable all-round performances – particularly from male lead Dylan O’Brien (TV series Teen Wolf) – this is a kind of ‘who’s who’ of male teen Hollywood stars, and along with an intriguing premise and couple of genuinely heart-rending moments, this ticks a lot of the right boxes.


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When Thomas (O’Brien) gets unceremoniously dumped into a mysterious dystopian community of boys after his memory is erased – and all he can remember is his name – he soon realises there’s no escape from this enclosed environment bar a massive maze that surrounds it.

Around sixty teen boys – including Love Actually’s Thomas Brodie-Sangster and We’re the Millers’ Will Poulter – have been made to survive in this environment tagged ‘The Glade’, living off their own agriculture and supplies, with a new boy entering every 30 days.

Soon the curious Thomas wants to upset the ‘apple cart’ and venture into the maze – where ‘runners’ have been trying to find a way out – which opens for a short time every day, and in the process take on the nightmarish (alien-esque) beings called the Grievers, who kill anyone who gets locked in overnight.

But when comatose girl Teresa (Kaya Scodelario) arrives with a strange note, the whole dynamics of their world change – which will affect every one of them.

And for the most part this is an above-average drama with some stand-out moments, that only falters with its Hunger Games-isms and blatant set-up for the inevitable sequel.

Not quite an a-maze-ing experience – but The Maze Runner has definitely got legs.

Visit www.showcasecinemas.co.uk for the latest up-to-date showtimes for Peterborough Showcase. You can also join the chat on Twitter @showcasecinemas or on Facebook by searching for ‘Showcase Cinemas UK’.

Gavin Miller

Cast: Dylan O’brien, Will Poulter, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Ki Hong Lee, Kaya Scodelario, Ami Ameen, Blake Cooper & Patricia Clarkson

Running Time: 1 Hr 50 Mins

Director: Wes Ball [youtube id=”AwwbhhjQ9Xk” width=”600″ height=”350″]

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