Film review: The Maze Runner (4 out of 5)
Oh no, not another teenage franchise I hear you say.
But hold on, this is good and will entertain a wide range of audiences.
True, the crowd I saw the film with were teenage girls, but that was just a coincidence.
The Maze Runner owes more to The Hunger Games than say Twilight with the accent on a very solid plot and some cracking acting from the young cast.
In fact, on the odd occasion when we see an adult they seem unable to reach the high bar set by the main cast.
The movie is based on the popular book of the same name by James Dashner, but with a few slight changes.
The story starts with Thomas (Dylan O’Brien) arriving against his will in the Glade, a park-like area inhabited by young men and surrounded by an enormous concrete maze.
Apart from their name, no one can remember anything about their past life.
The maze is guarded at night by Grievers, particularly unpleasant mechanical beasts who sting people and give them a fatal illness.
In order to live as peacefully as possible the Gladers have set up rules and a hierarchy.
However, Thomas soon causes problems as he attempts to find a way out and the truth behind the maze.
Backing O’Brien up are some familiar faces, such as Will Poulter (Voyage of the Dawn Treader) as Gally and Thomas Brodie-Sangster (Love Actually and Nanny McPhee) as Newt, along with newcomer Blake Cooper impressing as Chuck.
The ending has been criticised and I would agree with that as it seemed to go a bit Resident Evil in tone.
However, the rest of the film is spot-on and goes at a cracking pace with some rather good special effects.
And we are set up nicely for the next in the series, although they will have to go some to match this first effort.
Film details: The Maze Runner (12A) 113mins
Director: Wes Ball
Starring: Dylan O’Brien, Kaya Scodelario, Will Poulter
Screening courtesy of Horsham Capitol