books to movies

Book to Movie: The Maze Runner

I’ve been so excited for this movie! When I first read the book, it was back when young adult movie adaptations were just getting started (think Twilight) and I was so sure that The Maze Runner was going to see the spotlight one day. I’m so excited that I got to see the movie on the day that it came out, after years of waiting!

I’d definitely recommend checking out the trailers for this movie because I think they did a fantastic job capturing some of the suspense and intrigue that really make this trilogy special. I’m no expert on film but really loved the angles used and how those few minutes really captured the emotion of the book as well as the movie.

Our leading man, Thomas,  is played by Dylan O’Brien. I’ve only seen a few episodes of Teen Wolf and he has a small appearance in The Internship but I always had it in my mind that he was a great actor so I was excited when I heard that he was Thomas. I think he did a fantastic job creating Thomas’ character even through the confusion and memory loss Thomas experiences. Because I haven’t seen O’Brien much on screen, I think that also made it easier for me to imagine him as that character.

The same was true for most of the boys. Some of them began to get mixed up with one another (because in a pack of all boys, things can get confusing) but overall I was happy with the group. Chuck was appropriately adorable. Alby was a great leader. I wish that we’d gotten to see a little more of Minho and Newt. Also, it’d been a while since I read the book, so I completely forgot Frypan’s name and they never directly introduced him in the movie. I was sitting there in the theater thinking, What are they calling him? Fred? Frank? until it clicked.

As with all book to movie adaptations, I was terrified that The Maze Runner was going to tear apart one of my favorite books. Instead, it showed off some scenes that looked absolutely amazing done in film. I think that the Grievers were awesome and terrifying, even though they were nothing like what I’d pictured in my head (think Robosnail from Rugrats, except smaller and more terrifying). The maze scenes were awesome, with all of those moving parts and great effects. The Glade was less impressive but I think that’s because it can do nothing but pale in comparison to the awe of the maze.

There were some parts of the book that were completely left out. I won’t point out anything very specific because I think you could watch the film, like it, and then go to the book to get another great story that’s slightly different. There was so much between Thomas and Teresa that just wasn’t included, so I don’t know how they’ll skirt around that when it comes to the next movie. I think that overall I wasn’t too annoyed by anything that was taken out of the film because it’s been so long since I’ve read the book. I’ve learned my lesson not to reread the book right before the movie or I’m almost guaranteed to dislike the film!

The great thing about reading the book before the movie? You get to enjoy the theater’s reaction to a plot twist you know is coming. Yeah, maybe I was a little too smug, looking to see how my friends who hadn’t read the book were reacting to what was happening. There was a particularly funny part for me when everyone thought the movie was over, but I knew that the action was just getting started. I feel like with The Maze Runner, which absolutely thrives on plot twists, there’s never any way of knowing where the story’s going to go next.

The ending disappointed me a little. I hate enjoying an adaptation and then leaving the theater unsatisfied because they just needed to change up the ending. It happened with The Giver. Divergent. Now The Maze Runner. The end is important because it’s the last thing I get before I leave so of course I want it to be on a great note. Not that I’m saying they completely changed the end of this; they just left it off at a different part and didn’t go quite as far with the plot as the book does, which is annoying.

Overall, I was so impressed with The Maze Runner that I need the sequel immediately. I’ve heard that they’re planning to make one, but it isn’t coming until 2016. How can I wait that long? If this movie does well in the box office, I’m hoping that means The Scorch Trials will have an even better budget for a greater movie–not that I’m saying the visual effects in this first installment didn’t impress. Far from it. The maze was terrifying realistic and the Grievers . . yep, part of my nightmares now.

I’d recommend this movie to fans of the book, those unsure of whether they want to read the series, and people looking for a movie filled with suspense and action. This is a book that I read and thought would be even cooler as a movie. I’m glad that the film proved me right.

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