While I was happy to finally see a male-oriented film series and yeah, even before the last half hour of "To Be Continued!" scenes in a female dominated marketplace (the Twilight "saga," The Hunger Games and Divergent) this movie all-but completely blew.
Aside from The Maze Runner being a blatant rip-off of the superior Cube film, or its sequels, it was so incredibly bland, run-of-the- mill, predictable and A-B-C, I actually fell asleep during the movie. It didn't help that the movie was twenty minutes too long and that I knew what scene would take place four scenes ahead.
During the movie I was absolutely giving it the benefit of the doubt. Without so much as telling us this was "Part One" of a trilogy (or four movies, depending on how well the first one does and they inevitably split the last movie into two so they can milk the series our longer than it needs, i.e. The Hunger Games, Harry Potter and Twilight,) the movie seemed to take its long time to explain everything out in extreme detail of their world. I was trying to be as patient as possible when I knew this was a necessity since this is a sci-fi, futuristic test for young boys.
But, the rest of the movie played out this way. As if in narration form. They constantly had to tell us and remind us of the world they're referring to in the very movie they're showing us. I get it. I got it. And unfortunately, they we're showing me anything new.
So, I waited and waited for something fresh. Some new take. Nope. And worse, as mentioned above, the last half-hour was NOTHING but setting up the inevitable sequels.
I am getting ahead of myself since I haven't mentioned the synopsis. Very basically, once a month, a new young male recruit is transported into the middle of an obscenely large maze. He has memory loss and must have the entire plot be explained to him so he can integrate with the other males. They've been there between 3 years and present day and must make it through a hefty and unexplainably moving maze to get back to where they don't remember they've come from.
Naturally, our "hero," Thomas, is THE ONE to help them get free. With little explanation and in one of the most pointless plots of recent movies, he joins forces with one of the most uncharismatic of all females the first girl to join the group. Hilariously enough, she looks incredibly similar to Kristen Stewart of her Twilight series. Just like Bella, Stewart's bland heroine from Twilight, this one offers nothing to the table and is so hard to root for. In fact, it appears this endless rock-throwing female was only introduced to attract more female viewers.
And that is a huge part of the problems here. While, again, I am glad to finally see a male-dominated teeny-bop series, not one single character had the charisma of any of the other series. Yeah, I'm not a huge Harry Potter or Hunger Games fan, but each of those had characters I rooted for and wanted to see succeed. This Maze Runner had one, and he was absolutely a second or third tier fella: Chuck. But, then again, if you've seen The Sandlot, he was the same guy who called that main character "Smalls."
With virtually no one to root for, a story as old as time, decent special effects but barely used and predictable scenes from beginning to no-conclusion, this movie is highly UN-recommended. Granted, it's not the worst movie I've seen in a long while and definitely not the worst of 2014 so far, it will be so forgettable, they will be regretting they only made this movie to be part of a trilogy that should never be completed.
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Final thoughts: If you're thinking of beginning this so-so franchise, either do one of two things: Wait for this to all come to home- viewing and have a boring, nothing weekend to get through them all or just rent/buy/stream the superior Cube series. Essentially, they're the same movie, but Cube had a tenth of the budget with ten times the heart, originality, imagination, suspense and characters than The Maze Runner had at any given moment.