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I had a great Sunday as I got to see this action-packed thriller! (Sorry my post is a little late, but I needed some time to compose a thoughtful response to the movie.)
First off, I think I prefered The Maze Runner movie to the book, and I don't say that often. All in all it's a fair book-to-screen adaptation, where the few changes are for the better. The film also really makes the most of its budget and I really enjoyed the Maze and Griever effects.
If you don't already know the story, here is a quick summary. After having his memory wiped,Thomas finds himself stuck in a place called The Glade at the center of a giant Maze. Some of the other boys in the same situation have been stuck there for as long as three years without finding an exit. As their carefully constructed society begins to fall apart, Thomas realizes he will have to team up with the maze runners if he wants to find a way out.
I really liked the diverse cast and the acting throughout was pretty solid. Everyone seemed to have appropriate reactions to what was going on around them, even if they varied pretty widely (from Gally to Alby to Newt to Chuck to Thomas and Teresa) they all seemed realistic. From the moment, Dylan O'Brien was cast as Thomas, I was interested to see where he'd go with it as he's easily my favorite character on the three and a half seasons I've watched of Teen Wolf. He didn't disappoint as Thomas and he successfully manages to carry the film. I'm looking forward to what he'll be doing in the future. Going in I was also familiar with Will Poulter and Thomas Brodie-Sangster, so I was also pleased to see them cast as Gally and Newt, and both did an excellent job in their parts.
As for the changes from book to movie, I liked that the Glader slang was cut down quite a bit. It worked well enough for the book even if it did get a bit annoying, but onscreen I'm not sure if it would have come across well at all. I did catch a few shanks and klunk here and there. I'm also very glad they removed the mental link between Thomas and Teresa. In the book, I was able to figure out the two characters are connected and didn't need to be hit over the head with it. It seems such an unnecessary element so I'm glad it was cut from the film. I also noticed the mind control aspect was removed, which honestly didn't hurt the movie as far as I'm concerned because it allows you to see just how much the experiment has screwed them up.
Regarding what I didn't like about the movie, it's basically what I didn't like about the book and that would be the end and "reveal." I didn't like the rest of the books in the series nearly as much as I liked the first and that may carry over into the films. I liked the lab rats in a maze aspect of the first installment, but not so much the reasoning, if you could call it that, behind it.
Overall, The Maze Runner is riveting, intense, and claustrophobic in the best of ways. I highly recommend seeing the movie, even if you have reservations. It's a solid adaptation that makes the most of its source material. I will be interested to see what will be done with the sequels for the big screen!