THE MAZE RUNNER Digital HD Review
The Maze Runner
PG-13..•..113 min...•..Action, Mystery, Sci-Fi, Thriller
December 16, 2014
DIRECTOR: .Wes Ball
WRITERS: .Noah Oppenheim,
Grant Pierce Myers & T.S. Nowlin
Based on the novel by James Dashner
Dylan O’Brien, Kaya Scodelario, Will Poulter,
Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Aml Ameen, Ki Hong Lee,
Blake Cooper, Dexter Darden, Patricia Clarkson
SYNOPSIS: In this heart-pounding survival thriller based on the best-selling novel, Thomas (Dylan O’Brien of MTV’s “Teen Wolf” ) 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 deadly Grievers that roam the concrete corridors at night — Thomas and the others must race to piece together clues in order to discover their true purpose…and find a way out before it’s too late!
Imagine waking up to find yourself in a fast-moving, rickety metal elevator. You’re inexplicably coughing up water. You scream for help, but there’s no one to hear your pleas — except what appears to be some sort of monster that you catch a glimpse of through one side of the elevator. As suddenly as you awoke, the elevator comes to a sudden stop. The doors of your cage are thrown open by a gaggle of teenage boys who don’t appear surprised to see you. They ask you your name and you realize that your situation is worse than you thought: You have no memory of your life — not even your name.
Even in theory, the concept is terrifying. And for Thomas (Dylan O’Brien), unfortunately, there’s nothing theoretical about the situation.
Welcome to the world of the The Maze Runner: A large and lush open space (the Glade), inhabited by a group of teens reminiscent of Neverland’s Lost Boys (Gladers), surrounded by towering walls (the Maze) and the Maze’s mysterious and deadly creatures (Grievers) that keep the Gladers imprisoned therein.
The Gladers live by strict adherence to a self-determined behavioral code based on the seemingly fixed principles of life in the Glade: One new arrival per month (a Greenie) — who shares the elevator with supplies from an unknown benefactor — and Maze walls that open and close at the same times each day, patrolled nightly by Grievers. But Thomas’ arrival signals more than the mere passing of another month, and, without warning, the Gladers find the precepts of their lives crumbling toward their likely doom.
As you can probably tell by now, The Maze Runner falls toward the darker side of the YA adaptation spectrum. More visceral and animalistic than technologically dystopian, The Maze Runner includes a number of scenes where, to borrow from Game of Thrones, “the night is [literally] dark and full of terrors” — namely, the Grievers, with their long, mechanized, spider-like legs and half-alien, half-Voldemort-looking heads. They are large, in charge, stealthy, and out to get every Glader that crosses their path. Whereas the payload of some YA stories is cerebral, The Maze Runner’s is very much physical — and, as such, the movie is (possibly) not well suited for younger audiences. (That said, however, the beauty of Digital HD is that parents don’t have to contend with 15-foot tall Grievers and their surround-sound, high-pitched wailing.)
Haven’t read James Dashner’s trilogy? No problem! You won’t be a Greenie for long, thanks to succinct but detailed exposition in the movie’s first ten minutes (and subsequent additions throughout). But learning the Gladers’ jargon is just the first piece of the puzzle — and it is quickly apparent that the The Maze Runner’s audience is fated to be as ignorant of the who-what-when-where-and-why as the story’s protagonists. (Some answers may be forthcoming in announced sequel, The Scorch Trials, currently slated for September 2015.)
Despite posing exponentially more questions than it answers — and, in one scene, making its primary female character into the literal embodiment of the slogan “boys are stupid, throw rocks at them” — The Maze Runner is an action-packed, intense thrill ride through a world that easily distinguishes itself from other YA tales. Its walls and monsters loom larger than life even on the smaller screens of TVs, laptops, and tablets, and the savagery of its mysterious story will keep you guessing long after the credits have finished rolling.
The Maze Runner is available now on Digital HD,
and hits Blu-ray/DVD on December 16.
The Maze Runner Digital HD — iTunes Extras**
Deleted Scenes (with optional Audio Commentary by Wes Ball)
Navigating The Maze: The Making of The Maze Runner
The “Chuck Diaries”
Visual Effects Reels
Ruin Wes Ball short film
Audio Commentary by Wes Ball and T.S. Nowlin
2 Digital Comics
• 24-Page Prequel Comic Book
• Deleted Scenes with Commentary from Wes Ball
• Navigating The Maze: The Making of The Maze Runner (A Five Part Documentary that includes: The Maze is Born, Creating the World, Finding the Gang, The Movie Inside the Maze, and The Digital Details)
• The “Chuck Diaries”
• Gag Reel
• Visual Effects Reels
• Ruin Wes Ball Short Film in 2D and 3D with Commentary from Wes Ball
• Audio Commentary by Wes Ball and T.S. Nowlin
Follow Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment on Twitter: @FoxHomeEnt
iTunes Extras minimum system requirements: iOS 8; Apple TV 6.2; or iTunes 11.3 on OS X 10.9.3 or Windows 7. **
Featured Image: © 2014 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
Poster and Box Art: © 2014 Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment
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