The Maze Runner is yet another dystopian teen yarn in the mould of The Hunger Games and Divergent – but it lacks both their grandeur and their visual imagination.
Like such films, it is structured as if it is a reality TV show. Thomas (Dylan O’Brien) is the young outsider who discovers himself in the Glade, an encampment surrounded by huge concrete walls. There is a colony of boys already there. They’re trying to work out how to escape through doors on the wall that lead them into a vast and very dangerous maze inhabited by mechanical spiders called Grievers.
The action sequences – Thomas running at full pelt through the maze or fighting with his suspicious rival Gally (Will Poulter from Son of Rambow) – are well enough handled. The glitch is the absurdity of the premise and the weakness of the characterisation. We’re never quite sure why the “Gladers” are trapped or what exactly is happening in the big, bad world beyond the walls. This, one guesses, will become apparent in the sequels that look inevitable.Reuse content