A group of young males are imprisoned within the Glade surrounded by huge concrete walls that make up inside an ever-changing maze. Each month a new guy is sent from underground on an elevator to join the group along with some supplies. The colony of young men have learned to take care of themselves with shelter, growing crops and learning to live together. They have rules, no free loaders; everyone must pull their own weight, no harm to others and never go beyond the walls, unless you’re a runner. Runners are able to enter the maze in search of a way out but these runners are constantly faced with combating the Grievers, mechanical like spiders out to kill.
On the 3oth day a new guy arrives to the Glade, his name unknown at first since his memory was erased but returned to him later in a fight with Gally (Will Poulter), the new guy otherwise called Greenie discovers his name is Thomas (Dylan O’Brien). Not liked at first except for by a few, Alby (Aml Ameen) who seems to be the leader of the group, Newt (Thomas Brodie-Sangster) and Chuck (Blake Cooper) the youngest of the group who happens to be liked by all. Minho (Ki Hong Lee) is a runner and quite good at it yet his running partner Ben (Chris Sheffield) has been stung and contracted a virus leaving him banished into the maze never to be seen again mainly because no one survives a night in the maze.
As for Thomas he entered the maze to help Minho and Alby one night finding themselves locked in the maze at night left to fight for survival. The next day when the wall opens Thomas is alive and a new person enters the Glade but this time it’s a girl, Teresa (Kaya Scodelario) and she comes holding a note which reads “the last one”! The guys begin to question how she and Thomas know each other which in turn creates mistrust and dislike especially between Thomas and Gally. Thomas begins to remember things especially pertaining to an organization known as WCKD, World Catastrophe Kill Department and these memories lead him to believe he needs to act rather than spending years in the Glade like Alby and Gally have done. After an attack on the Glade, Thomas and several others decide to risk their chances in the maze in hopes of finding a way out. What they find though is not what they expected and not all of them survive to make it to phase two.
I can’t say I hated this film by no means since Ball does a nice job directing it but as for the writing this film needs some better attention. The characters are never really developed, several of the scenes and the predicaments the boys find themselves in don’t quite seem to make sense. For that fact as the story comes to what you might call a close I sat there thinking what just happened. It was like the engine that could but couldn’t since it totally ran out of steam. I know they want to leave you hanging for part two but in this case it did not leave me excited enough nor truly interested enough to care. I can see a nice opening to this film due to its trailers that fulfill the action demands which by the way take forever to happen but overall word of mouth may cause this film to be trapped in its own maze of confusion. One good thing besides some of the special effects is the cast. Albeit many are just backdrops to the leads the film is cast pretty well. O’Brien truly carries the story. Ameen brings it strength. Lee carries the challenge, Cooper the levity, Poulter the bad boy, Scodelario the missing female that can kick some ass like the boys and last but not least Brodie-Sangster who finishes the group off with the cute and likeable factor. Definitely a nice mix of personalities that for the most part we the audience never truly get to understand since they themselves never know their past. In the end the film is entertaining but overall I felt a bit empty expecting so much more. Written with two paws out of four by Jon Patch.