The Maze Runner
starring Dylan O’Brien, Kaya Scodelarid, Aml Ameen. Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Ki Hong Lee, Will Poulter and Patricia Clarckson
screenplay by Noah Oppenheim, Grant Pierce Myers and T.S. Nowlin
directed by Wes Ball
Based on the novel by James Dashner, The Maze Runner starts with a young man, Thomas, waking up in a cage with no memory, mechanically lifted from below into an external scene populated by other young men. They all arrived in this way at the rate of one person per month. They are trapped in a large glade, or meadow, by gigantic walls. The walls form a maze. The maze is open during the day but it closes at night and its shape realigns. The men have their own hierarchical society, the elites - called “Runners” - are the ones who go into the maze daily, try to memorize it, and try to memorize all its patterns of realignment. The ultimate plan is to escape. But since everyone arrives with no memory no one can imagine what is outside the maze and what there is to escape into. The Glade and the Maze are their world.
Thomas turns out to be a non-conformist, a danger to any status quo. He defies custom and, eventually, he goes into the maze contrary to the protocol. The most immediate danger in the maze is the existence of mechanical spider-like things called Grievers. Grievers sting/inject their victims who die soon afterward. When Thomas breaks protocol the maze begins to act differently and suddenly the world of the Glade is changed quickly and dangerously.
It is very similar to Cube (1997 Canadian film, directed by Vincenzo Natali) in that it features people waking up with no memory in a strange place who then proceed to try to escape.
In the end Thomas leads a small group to escape. They escape into a post-apocalyptic dystopian world of destruction. The Glade and the Maze were some kind of testing ground for a new breed of human.
I liked The Maze Runner. It started a bit of a slow. But when the audience and Thomas become accustomed to the Glade society and understand what’s going on and where the story is headed it is firmly interesting.