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The Maze Runner Review: A Larger-Than-Life Locked Room Mystery…With Monsters

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the maze runnerSome of my favorite stories are those made up of little more than an effective, simple concept, a core cast of enjoyable characters, and a stimulating conflict. It’s the kind of set-up that both horror and indie romances do well with, though science fiction generally works on a grander scale. Wes Ball’s directorial debut, The Maze Runner, takes a small, locked-room mystery and weaves it into the fabric of a much larger narrative, though it’s one that you’ll have to wait until the sequel for. Because yes, we’re in the big wild world of YA dystopian novel adaptations, and these kinds of tales come in packs of three or more.

I say that with only the slightest sense of cynicism, as I enjoyed much of what The Maze Runner has to offer, and am surprisingly excited to see author James Dashner’s successive novels unfold on the big screen. Though there are problems to be found—the dream sequences are particularly awful—the smooth and tension-laced pacing makes spur-of-the-moment arguments seem irrelevant from one scene to the next. There’s always something better waiting around the corner here.

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The Maze Runner Feature And Two TV Spots Show You How To Survive

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If you’ve got a hankering for some action heavy teen dystopias but you’ve already watched Divergent too many times (once is more than enough) and you just can’t wait until The Hunger Games: Mockingjay—Part 1 drops this November, you’re in luck. We’re just a couple of weeks away from 20th Century Fox’s latest entry into this lucrative market, The Maze Runner, and they have a new feature plus a pair of freshly minted TV spots to keep you occupied.

Adapted from the best-selling young adult novel by James Dashner, you probably guessed from the title that there is both a maze and people who run through it. And you are right on both counts. The plot revolves around a young man named Thomas (Dylan O’Brien) who wakes up in a place called The Glade with no memory of who he is or how he got there. They’re penned in on all sides by high walls, but every morning they open up to reveal the titular puzzle.

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The Maze Runner Finds Two More Clips And A Feature With Author James Dashner

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With less than a month to go until it hits theaters, 20th Century Fox has apparently kicked off the marketing push for The Maze Runner in earnest. The other day we showed you three TV spots and a clip, and today they’re back with a new pair of new clips and a featurette with James Dashner, who wrote the book the film is based on.

The story revolves around a place called the Glade. Full of teenage boys who have no idea who they are, how they got there, or why, giant walls pen them in, opening up every morning to reveal an elaborate maze. All they know is that if they want to figure a way out of this predicament, they have to solve the puzzle, and each day a group of runners set off into the corridors, searching for an exit. But they damn sure better be back before night, when the doors close again, because that’s when vicious monsters known as Grievers come out to play, and they play rough.

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The Maze Runner Reveals Three Puzzling TV Spots And A Pushy New Clip

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Adaptations of young adult novels are obviously big business, and since San Diego Comic-Con last month, 20th Century Fox has been building steam behind their upcoming dystopian sci-fi joint The Maze Runner, based on James Dashner’s best-selling book of the same name. Now that we’re just over a month away from the release (which was pushed back from February of this year), they’ve started to step things up, and we now have three new TV spots and a new clip.

This first video gives you all of the pertinent information. There’s a place called the Glade, it’s enclosed by high concrete walls that open every morning to reveal an ever changing maze, and no one knows who they are, why they’re here, or anything about the outside world. When a new boy named Thomas (Teen Wolf’s Dylan O’Brien) shows ups, it signals great changes in both their situation and their approach to finding a way out.

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The Maze Runner: How Wes Ball Built The Perfect Maze On A Budget

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The Maze RunnerIf you’re making a movie called The Maze Runner you damn sure better have an impressive maze, unless, you know, the maze is a metaphor for some sticky situation, like a tricky interpersonal relationship or an international espionage kind of situation. But thankfully in Wes Ball’s The Maze Runner an adaptation of James Dashner’s best selling young adult novel, we’re talking about a very real maze, and the production went to great lengths to create the perfect one.

The Maze Runner puts a Lord of the Flies twist on the popular dystopian teen YA genre. There’s a mysterious place called the Glade, populated by teenage boys who don’t know who they are, where they came from, or how they got here. Giant walls pen them in and open up every morning to reveal a sprawling, ever-changing maze, which holds they key to their escape. Every night the walls close up again, and you don’t want to be caught out there because it’s in the darkness that the monstrous Grievers come out to play. And they don’t play nice. When a new arrival, Thomas (Dylan O’Brien, Teen Wolf), shows up on the scene, things start to get all kinds of hectic.

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The Maze Runner Featurette Introduces You To The Gladers

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This weekend, Philip Noyce’s The Giver looks to get in on the lucrative teen dystopia market, but that’s not the only one we’re going to get over the next little bit. The Maze Runner is going to try to get in on the act next month. 20th Century Fox has stepped up the promotion for the movie since San Diego Comic-Con last month, and now they’re back to introduce the core of the cast with this new featurette.

While The Giver is a more subdued approach to the genre, director Wes Ball’s adaptation of James Dashner’s best selling novel falls more in line with contemporaries like The Hunger Games and Divergent, with an emphasis on the action and melodrama.