The Maze Runner, a film adaptation of the popular young adult novel by James Dashner , is about a tribe of memory-wiped male youths living in the middle of a huge, mysterious, ever-changing, extremely deadly maze. Thomas, the main character, must find a way out of the maze while battling enemies from inside and outside the maze.

When I first saw the trailer I got very excited because it said, “With every new mystery you get even deeper.” Instantly I was hooked. I walked excitedly into the movie theater and took my seat. I sat on the edge of my seat for about three-fourths of the feature.  Honestly, I couldn’t have written any notes about the movie because I didn’t want to miss a thing. The film kept piling on intense mysteries, such as “Will they make it out? Why are the boys there? Why have the maze doors stopped closing? Who really is Thomas, and why is he here?”

With each new development I became more immersed in the story. However, towards the end of the film I realized that there was not much time left in the movie to solve all of the intriguing mysteries. This led me to conclude that the movie would most likely end in a cliff hanger.  I became disappointed and angry.  This allowed me to stop focusing on one scene at a time, and instead reflect on the film as a whole. The movie overall is neither what I wanted nor what I expected.

There are two glaring issues with the film: the first one being the characters. The characters in this movie are so bland and unmemorable that I didn’t bother to learn their names; I merely referred to them as their role in the film, such as the villain, the comic relief, the girl, the serious action sidekick guy, etc. The only reason I remembered Thomas’s name is because of the sheer number of times it was repeated during the movie.

Another problem with the characters is that they are seriously under-developed. For example, Thomas is willing to die for his “friends” after sharing only one scene of dialogue with them. Thomas, the main character, doesn’t even change significantly throughout the course of the film.

The second huge problem with the movie is that almost no mysteries were solved by the conclusion. In my opinion, mysteries are the backbone of your film, you better make sure you solve way more than just two. Unfortunately, this is a mistake this film made: they solve one mystery about why the characters are in the maze, and another about a minor villain nobody cares about. The film resolves no conflict, and the cliffhanger ending that I predicted from the get-go will make you dislike the film if you got absorbed in it at all.

This film is not all bad. There are some pretty suspenseful  moments that really draw you in, so at the end of the day you won’t feel like you have wasted your money or time watching it. If you’re a “popcorn movie goer” – someone who watches movies to waste time, eat popcorn, and indulge in action – then you will find this movie entertaining. However, if you want anything meaningful out of the characters or plot, then this feature is not for you. I give this film a C- for serious movie-goers and a B- for popcorn movie-goers.

By Sam Finbury