Starring: Dylan O'Brien, Kaya Scodelario, & Thomas Sangster
Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5 stars
The Maze Runner series really appealed to me and long before it was a movie, I read all four books. I was hoping that like The Hunger Games, The Maze Runner would be a page for page telling of the story, but it wasn't and in fact several important elements crucial to the sequels were left out. The story begins with a boy named Thomas (Dylan O'Brien) waking up in an elevator, surrounded by dozens of other boys. Thomas has no memory other than his name and quickly learns that none of the other boys do either. They are all trapped in the middle of a maze with no idea why or how to escape. This film was done well, but compared to the book, it is like a seventh graders book report. All the players are the same and the events are relatively the same, but all those little things that made this series so special and unique were left out. The film is just a simple story with some terrific special effects, but the book was really extraordinary and non-readers will never have any idea of just how good this movie could have been. Teen Wolf's Dylan O'Brien stars and really was the perfect choice to play Thomas. Unlike some of the other casting choices, O'Brien really seems to jump right from the pages to the screen in a defining role that almost seemed made for him. Thomas was the same in the movie as he was in the book, but he was the only one. It's very hard to be objective about this, because if I hadn't read the book, I still would have enjoyed the film, but realizing just how much of the story is missing really bothers me and skewed my review of the film. The story is unique, the special effects are great, and their some very good young actors here, I still highly recommend The Maze Runner, but if you are a reader and you enjoy Science Fiction, by all means read the book first.
!!! SPOILER ALERT !!!
Do not read any further if you haven't seen the film and don't want to know what happens.
10 Key Difference Between The Book & The Film:1) The story takes place over the course of a couple months, not a couple days.
2) After Teresa collapses, she is an a coma for several weeks, where she can talk to Thomas telepathically. Her memory is slowly being erased while she is unconscious, but she is the only one who claims WICKED is good and she tells Thomas that they were part of the team that designed the maze.
3) As a greenhorn, it takes Thomas a long time to be accepted and he spends much of his time during the first part of the book only even talking to Chuck. That is why they are so close, not just because of a simple promise made in the jail
4) When Albie wakes up, he tries to kill himself, then he sets the map room on fire. It's not Gally who doesn't want them to leave the maze, it's Albie, because he is able to remember the world before the maze and it's HE who tells them about the flair, not WICKED.
5) The Maze is not an outdoor structure as seen in the end of the film, it is inside the whole time to protect the boys from getting the flair.
6) Gally never takes control, never forms a group, and never threatens to exile anyone. After the grievers attack the glade, Gally blames Thomas and wants him exiled, when the council says no, Gally runs off into the maze and isn't heard from for weeks and is presumed dead.
7) Albie isn't killed in the Homstead, he actually makes it out into the Maze with the group and sacrifices himself while fighting the grievers.
8) Gally is never stung by a griever, he has been manipulated by WICKED with the single intention of killing Thomas, NOT stopping the boys escape, and he doesn't have a gun, it's a knife. After Gally kills Chuck, Thomas tries to strangle him, but doesn't finish the job, he is separated by a group of rebels who have broken into WICKED in order to free the boys from the experiments. There is no message from a female doctor and there are no dead WICKED members lying around. The rebels literally break into the fully functional and staffed control room, rescue a lot more than a handful of the gladers, fight through a group of cranks, and THEN put them on buses to take them away.
9) Albie is not the soul leader, there is a ruling counsel in which Newt is second in charge. When Albie is out of it Newt takes control. Newt had previously had Minho's job as the head of the runners until he suffered a broken ankle and he's supposed to walk with a noticeable limp.
10) They don't find a secret passage in the Maze that leads to their escape. Thomas and Minho follow a griever the night they are trapped in the maze, but they follow him to the edge of a cliff, where the creature disappears into thin air. The boys never know for a fact that it's the exit until they are fighting the grievers and jump off the cliff. When they get to the bottom, they must enter a code, but it's not a number. During the book they learn the maze changes form every day and actually spells out a letter a day, and a repeated phrase every months. The repeated phrase is actually the code, but not to open a door, instead, it's to shut off the grievers. The exit is unlocked and at the bottom of the cliff, the boys just need the courage to jump off to escape from the maze.