The Maze Runner Thrills with Gritty Action

“The Maze Runner,” based off of book one of the highly popular young adult franchise by James Dashner, is a dark, gritty, action-packed thriller filled with surprisingly poignant and heartfelt performances.  “Maze Runner” is sure not to disappoint; it is filled with powerful action sequences, mystery, suspense and exciting special effects. Directed by Wes Ball, this is an impressive effort for a first book adaptation to the big screen.

Newcomer Dylan O’Brien plays the main character, Thomas. Thomas awakens to find himself trapped inside an elevator shaft, going nowhere but up and with only the memory of his last name to guide him. And he is not alone. His world soon is turned upside down when he exits the elevator shaft and meets other teens who welcome him to his punishing destination. He discovers that he is trapped in an isolated plantation, known to its inhabitants as “The Glade,” a large, open span surrounded with nothing but stone walls.  The only escape is through a series of complicated and treacherous mazes.  The only information Thomas can gather is that every morning, the stone doors to the maze that surrounds them opens, and that anyone who spends a night in the maze never makes it out alive. Unexpectedly, a girl is delivered to the Glade, the first girl there ever, Teresa, who is played by “Skins” actress Kaya Scodelario. She delivers a sinister message that only Thomas can understand. It is up to Thomas and his newfound allies to complete the maze and finally reach home.

O’Brien is most notable for his work in the MTV hit “Teen Wolf” as the lovable and goofy Stiles Stilinski, pairing well alongside Tyler Posey and Holland Roden. This breakout role shows a darker, more brooding performance from O’Brien, proving that he is more than just a comedic actor, but a serious one as well. Other notable performances include Will Poulter portraying “Gally.” Poulter is widely known for his role in the summer 2012 comedy “We’re the Millers” as awkward and lovable Kenny Ross. Poulter also proves that he has the ability to give a gloomier, more menacing performance. Ki Hong Lee stood out for his variation as Minho, Thomas’s partner while fighting his way through the mazes. Thomas-Brodie-Sangster was also notable as Newt.  Check out “The Maze Runner” in theaters and look for the next book in the series, “The Scorch Trials,” to continue Thomas’s journey.

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