HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Boss Level
My Heart Can't Beat Unless You Tell It To
Edge of the World
PTU
Superdeep
Insignificance
Treasure City
Piccadilly
Parallel
Invasión
Shiva Baby
Flowers of Shanghai
War and Peace
Agony
Merrily We Go to Hell
Ellie & Abbie (& Ellie's Dead Aunt)
Amusement Park, The
Lemebel
Hands of Orlac, The
Cats
Death has Blue Eyes
Caveat
Kala Azar
Duplicate
Flashback
Gunda
After Love
Earwig and the Witch
Zebra Girl
Skull: The Mask
Vanquish
Bank Job
Drunk Bus
Homewrecker
State Funeral
Army of the Dead
Initiation
Redoubt
Dinner in America
Death Will Come and Shall Have Your Eyes
   
 
Newest Articles
That Ol' Black Magic: Encounter of the Spooky Kind on Blu-ray
She's Evil! She's Brilliant! Basic Instinct on Blu-ray
Hong Kong Dreamin': World of Wong Kar Wai on Blu-ray
Buckle Your Swash: The Devil-Ship Pirates on Blu-ray
Way of the Exploding Fist: One Armed Boxer on Blu-ray
A Lot of Growing Up to Do: Fast Times at Ridgemont High on Blu-ray
Oh My Godard: Masculin Feminin on Blu-ray
Let Us Play: Play for Today Volume 2 on Blu-ray
Before The Matrix, There was Johnny Mnemonic: on Digital
More Than Mad Science: Karloff at Columbia on Blu-ray
Indian Summer: The Darjeeling Limited on Blu-ray
3 from 1950s Hollyweird: Dr. T, Mankind and Plan 9
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Tarka the Otter and The Belstone Fox
Network Double Bills: All Night Long and Ballad in Blue
Chew Him Up and Spit Him Out: Romeo is Bleeding on Blu-ray
British Body Snatchers: They Came from Beyond Space on Blu-ray
Bzzzt: Pulse on Blu-ray
The Tombs Will Be Their Cities: Demons and Demons 2 on Arrow
Somebody Killed Her Husband: Charade on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Maroc 7 and Invasion
   
 
  Maze Runner, The Into The Labyrinth
Year: 2014
Director: Wes Ball
Stars: Dylan O'Brien, Kaya Scodelario, Aml Ameen, Ki Hong Lee, Blake Cooper, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Will Poulter, Dexter Darden, Chris Sheffield, Joe Adler, Alexander Flores, Jacob Latimore, Randall D. Cuningham, Patricia Clarkson, Don McManus
Genre: Action, Science Fiction, AdventureBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: This young man (Dylan O'Brien) finds himself in a metal cage being speedily transported up through many floors until it stops abruptly and the top opens up to reveal a group of other young men staring at him. He finds that not only does he not know where he is, but he doesn't know where he's been either, as his memory has gone, he cannot even remember his own name. As he emerges from the cage, he is confounded by the group and makes a break for it across a field, but after sprinting away from the hoots of the others he realises there is nowhere to go: there are towering walls all around. There is no escape.

The Hollywood passion for adapting so-called "Young Adult" novels continued apace with the first in a proposed series of James Dashner's The Maze Runner books, and unlike all those which had fallen by the wayside, floundering in the face of public indifference to overcomplicated and overinvolved fantasy scenarios, this one did fairly well. Much of that was down to the production keeping the costs fairly economical, thereby guaranteeing a profit at the box office, but it was also seeking to cash in on the market established by the success of The Hunger Games at the movies, and if nobody was going to rival that any time soon, this was a passable try at conjuring up the style and appeal.

But really it was more of the same, gifted youngsters trapped in a world of menace by shadowy older authorities, forced to work out some puzzle as a challenge to getting to the next level and potential freedom. That's right, there was a computer game tone to much of The Maze Runner too (Pac-Man, anybody?) as the hero, who eventually recalls his name is Thomas, must graduate through an assault course of the titular maze, avoiding great big monsters for no other reason than they were deemed necessary in this kind of science fiction. In fact, once you were at least in possession of some of the plot, the whole set-up came across as a needlessly complex one which would have taken so much time and energy to build as to be pointless.

It was, of course, a large scale test of the mettle of the young men (and one boy, Blake Cooper, whose unexplained presence is a little odd), as puzzles are meant to be solved after all, and Thomas sets about applying himself, often in peril as the monsters prowl the maze surrounding the high walls and are wont to grab and do terrible things to anyone they catch, though what those things were went undepicted thanks to the teen-friendly ratings certificate. You didn't really need bloodthirsty violence in efforts such as this, though if you did you'd probably end up with something akin to a variation on the Cube series, so it was enough to be aware the group were in dire need of escaping, not that ostensible leader Gally (Will Poulter) is in any hurry to allow that.

He reasons they are self-sufficient where they are, but Thomas quickly becomes the new leader thanks to his ingenuity and willingness to explore, thereby moving the narrative along with director Wes Ball's brisk pace. As well as computer games, the results owed something to television shows like the obvious Lost, which had thrived on its enigma, and going back to The Prisoner in the nineteen-sixties which similarly stranded its protagonist in an impossible situation then demanded he do something about it. But in the main this was a decent enough attempt at adventure that couldn't quite get over a contrived and silly premise, which made more sense as a game than it did as a movie (or perhaps even a book series), lending a pandering air in its "this is what the kids like these days, right?" endeavours. It was blessed with a cast of mostly twenty-somethings who seemed destined for greater things, whether as leads or character actors, and they could have chosen worse movies to appear in to raise their profile. Unconvincing, but not a dead loss by any means. Just by some means. Music by John Paesano.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1773 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
Andrew Pragasam
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
   

 

Last Updated: