Directed by Wes Ball, staring Dylan O’Brien, Kaya Scodelario, Will Poulter. A group of people are brought up in a cage one by one and forced to survive in a Maze, until Thomas Arrives and chooses to look at some way of escaping.
Many have compared this film to the series ‘Hunger Games’ and while it is true that both focus on the survival of children and teenagers where the odds at stacked against them, the key difference is this group of people must work together to survive.
This film is a different take on that idea, though we are not exposed to the history or why they are all trapped within those four walls but are instead thrown right into the action.
While the narrative is interesting enough, the area this film really struggles with is it’s characters. Within the first 20 minutes we are introduced to each main character and within that time using prior knowledge we as an audience have gained from previous films and stories we are able to calculate the events which will happen. Though that element of the structure draws from more well known stories and older ones too, the feeling is lacking with any surprising developments which greatly weakens this film. This is made into even more of a pressing frustration as the actors are clearly talented just struggling to move beyond what little they are given to work with.
Though it is packed with entertainment and enjoyable to watch throughout, with great sets and ideas from the book.
OVERALL *** A good film, but the lack of character development suffocates this film as too much screen time is given to characters who ironically are predictable, unlike the Maze.
RECOMMENDATION – If you are a fan of the hunger games then this is aimed at you, there is nothing screamingly wrong with this film just suffers from the lack of individual development and lack of spontaneity