The Maze Runner goes into the panic mode without wasting a breath. It is the kind of thing one has come to expect with a young-adult film such as this. From the whirring clang of the freight elevator to the uneasy scampering of the Griever, the film is just too noisy for its own good. I don’t know what is worse, the paper-thin plot or the horrendous casting choices. Every actor is a caricature, and sports a singular expression throughout the film. But while you sympathize with the plight of the characters, you don’t really care what becomes of them after a certain point in the movie.

Directed by Wes Ball, The Maze Runner is an adaptation of James Dashner’s novel by the same name. A post-apocalyptic movie, it tells the story of young boys trapped in a glade, surrounded by a maze. The only way for them to survive is to make it out of this maze alive. A lot of fancy names and characters are thrown in for good measure, and neither of them make even a modicum of a dent in your memory.

We have the traditional hero, who is different than the others in the form of Thomas (Dylan O’Brien of Teen Wolf fame). He is the latest arrival in the glade and already wants to get out. Not much is revealed about Thomas, as the writers take the subplot involving amnesia way too seriously. Throw in the righteous Newt (Thomas Brodie-Sangster) and the brute Gally (Will Poulter), and you have a movie that is basically the lovechild of The Hunger Games and Lord of the Flies. This movie is so unoriginal, it is a shame to even call it a movie.

Now you might have seen most of the boys in this film as adorable kids in a slew of films. But honestly, they aren’t cute or remotely-interesting anymore. Are they decent actors? Maybe. But in the Maze Runner, they are simply hurling pointless dialogues at each other and trying to look buff.

For a film that has Maze in its very title, it hardly delves into the eerie labyrinth-like setting of the Maze. This is disappointing because that is where all the action is. Why on Earth we have closeups of pretty boys is anyone’s guess. The film is a hasty attempt to please its teenage audience, and nothing else. If only the story was told in all its splendor, then we would have had something marginally interesting to look at.

Why should you watch this film?

The execution of the action sequences in The Maze Runner is the only redeeming quality of the movie. With Indiana Jones-style escapades and narrow saves, the director manages to absorb our attention nicely. Alas, they are far in between and short-lived. Just go with low expectations and you might not be disappointed.

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