The Maze Runner (2014) – By Duane L. Martin

Well folks, I didn’t have anything else to review this month, so I figured just to get something done for this month’s issue, I’d review this cinematic turd called The Maze Runner that I just recently got from Netflix.

This story is so utterly convoluted and ridiculous that I don’t even know where to begin in writing a synopsis for it, so I’ll just copy the synopsis from IMDB here to get us started.  Credit goes to whoever wrote it.

“Thomas is deposited in a community of boys after his memory is erased, soon learning they’re all trapped in a maze that will require him to join forces with fellow “runners” for a shot at escape.”

That doesn’t even begin to describe the absolute ridiculousness we’re presented with here, but let’s just move on.

I think in lieu of a review, at least for the most part, I’m just going to make a list of all the things that made no sense in this movie.  So here goes…

  • This guy Thomas (Dylan O’Brien) gets sent up in an elevator into this glade where there’s all these other teen / early twenties kids who only remember their names and nothing else about their past lives.  They’ve been there, one new one a month, for three years.  They’re all guys, and not a one of them has a bad haircut or needs a shave.
  • It turns out at the end (spoiler) that the kids were sent there so they could be studied to see how their brains work, because somehow it makes them immune to this virus that drove people insane and wiped out most of humanity after the sun mostly fried the Earth.  If it was so imperitive to study them, then why not send them all up at once instead of one at a time, once a month for three years?
  • These things called grievers, which are kinda like genetically engineered, gigantic cyborg spider scorpion things wander around in the maze at night after its closed.  If anyone gets trapped in the maze at night, the grievers kill them.  How exactly does it help in studying these kids to have them killed off if they get stuck in the maze after it closes at night?  Wouldn’t you want to keep them alive?
  • The grievers can “sting” people rather than just killing them.  The sting is actually a big syringe that injects them with the virus.  Supposedly these kids are immune to the virus and that’s why they’re being studied, and yet they get the virus when they get stung.  Then at the end they send up a very Kristen Stewart looking girl (the only hot girl in the movie) with two vials of a cure for the virus.  If they have a cure for the virus, then what the hell was the point to any of this?
  • They built this huge ass maze and put them all in this beautiful, wooded glade to study them.  Yet at the end, when they’re flying over it in a helicopter in a world that was fried by the sun, we see that the glade in the center of the maze is nice and beautiful, and yet it has no cover on it or anything.  The whole top is exposed, so how was it so green and beautiful while the rest of the world was fried?
  • Why go through all the trouble of building the maze in the first place?  When you think about all the concrete, rebar, gearing, metal work, electronics, and also making it so the maze changed itself every night, I doubt a massive construction crew could have completed it in fifteen years, or maybe even twenty…at the earliest.  That’s not even mentioning what it would have taken to cultivate the glade in the middle of it all, and to genetically engineer and design those giant cyborg spider things.
  • At the end, after they go through hell and a half trying to get through the maze and into the complex where the scientists were, suddenly this one guy named Gally who was a total bitch all through the movie and who DIDN’T go with them when they ran the maze to find a way out, and who WASN’T one of the runners who knew every incarnation of the maze like the back of their hand, suddenly shows up, and he’s stung and infected.  Then he picks up a gun and ends up killing the youngest kid in the group, before they kill him, which served no purpose whatsoever and didn’t advance the story in any way at all.
  • Thomas asked them at one point if they’d ever climbed to the top of the maze to see what they could see from the top, and he’s told that the ivy doesn’t grow high enough up the walls for them to do that, and yet inside of the maze Thomas has to somehow pull this guy Alby up onto a wall with a rope to keep the grievers away from him.  A wall completely covered with ivy that goes all the way to the top.  Hey, imagine that.  The runners who’ve been running the maze for three years never noticed this massive, ivy covered wall right near the entrance.
  • They carve the names of the glade residents in the concrete wall on the outside of the maze with a knife.  Now if I was stuck there and had to rely on every tool I had for survival, I sure as hell wouldn’t ruin a perfectly good knife by doing something stupid with it like carving people’s names into concrete.  They also cross the names out when people die.  Again, a total waste of a perfectly good knife.
  • The action scenes were often so dark and moved so quickly with so many edits that it made it hard to follow what was going on.

And so on, and so on and so forth…

The worst part is that they’re actually making a sequel to this steaming pile of cinematic monkey shit.

Was it horrible?  No, it wasn’t that bad.  I’ve seen worse to be sure.  The biggest problem with this film was the torrential flood of illogic you’re pelted with from start to finish.  It feels like you’re standing at the monkey cage at the zoo and they’re all flinging poo at you relentlessly.

For those that don’t know, I’m an author, so I know all about writing a coherent story with engaging and well developed characters.  This movie and its sequels are based on young adult novels by someone that I don’t really feel like looking up the name of right now.  I would HOPE that the books are more detailed and explain more of this stuff than the movie did, but if the books are as illogical as the movie, then I can’t imagine how this thing ever got made into a movie in the first place.  Someone needs to make movies out of my books.  At least they make sense.  So…you know…if there are any producers out there that want to take that on as a multi-film project, let me know.

I can’t recommend this movie, and yet I won’t NOT recommend it either.  It’s so stupid and illogical, that that in and of itself makes it rather entertaining.  You’ll literally be laughing at how ridiculous and nonsensical different parts of the film are, which only adds to the fun.

If you like stupid films that don’t make a whole lot of sense, then have at it.  If you like your movies to be more coherent, then definitely skip this one.  It’s up to you.