Monday, 16 February 2015


Young Adults. They have a lot to answer for. Bad grammar, abbreviated text speak, single parent families and an abundance of attractive, action-packed, above-average fantasy films based on best-selling books. Four films typically. Much like the toys they played with so innocently as children, young adults - it would seem - have outgrown the need for trilogies too. Pesky little upstarts. The Hunger Games are coming to an end, Divergent is happy to address well-worn themes and somebody has stolen Percy Jackson's thunder. If I'm being completely honest, I love them all, but I was in dire need of a bad pun so there you have it. Young adults have it all. Except maybe contraceptives and the luxury of hindsight. I digress...

Thomas (Dylan O'Brien) wakes up trapped in a massive, ever-changing maze with a group of boys who have no memory of the outside world. Facing dangerous obstacles at every turn - especially The Grievers that roam the concrete corridors at night - Thomas and the others must race to piece together the clues in order to discover their true purpose. But not before a few more books are sold and the filmmakers can milk the franchise potential for all its worth.

The Maze Runner is, on the surface, far less complicated than its siblings, and first time director Wes Ball - quite literally - picks up the script and starts running. The effects are great, as are the spidery villains of the piece, and the mood is darkened by the complete absence of laughs. There's no time for romance either, not yet at least, and the action sequences are well-staged throughout. The young cast, which includes Thomas Brodie-Sangster (Game of Thrones), Will Poulter (Son of Ranbow) and Kaya Scodelario (Skins), is universally excellent, and The Maze Runner actually leaves you wanting more. No small feat in this day and age. Worth a look before the Y.A. sub-genre becomes too popular and, as an indirect result, uncool.  Shame we can't say the same for single parent families...

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