"The Maze Runner" features fresh-faced actors

Screen Shot 2014-09-08 at 12.38.22 PMBy Kelly Schoessling
I recently was fortunate enough to attend an advanced screening for the action thriller, “The Maze Runner” Wed. Sept. 3. The screening was followed by a q&a with cast members Dylan O’Brien (“Teen Wolf”), Kaya Scoldenario (“Skins”) and Will Poulter (“We’re the Millers”). Trust me, they’re just as beautiful in person as they are on screen.
As a fan of the books, I had extremely high expectations for this movie. Every single one of my expectations was exceeded. Now I’ll admit, a lot of details were changed from the book. However, the changes made were all understandable for pacing and cinematic purposes.
The film opens up with a disoriented teenage boy named Thomas who wakes up in a metal box. He can’t remember how he got there or why he’s there. He only remembers his name. The box slams to a halt and the ceiling opens wide with blinding sunlight until the faces of several other teenage boys appear.
After being dragged and rather unceremoniously thrown into the plethora of strangers, Thomas quickly bolts forward to run away. However, it isn’t until he trips and sees the four giant metal walls surrounding him that he realizes he has nowhere to run to.
It’s off to the races from there. The film doesn’t stop for any leisure breaks while Thomas and other boys rush to find a way out of the maze encapsulating them.
Although the movie is technically a young-adult film, it clearly distinguishes itself from all other YA movies with its mature storytelling and gritty tone.
Though the visual effects and action sequences are well executed, it’s rather the acting that made this film remarkable.
The cast was studded with fresh-faced, talented actors such as Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Aml Ameen, Ki Hong Lee, Kaya Scodelario, Will Poulter and Dylan O’Brien.
O’Brien played Thomas not as a Tom-Cruise-type action hero but as a scared teenager in scary circumstances.
Poulter, who plays the antagonist of the film, also proved to have raw talent with the conflicted and confused character of Gally.
The film was almost resemblant of “American Graffiti” or “The Outsiders” with the amount of raw talent headed towards stardom.
One of the most touching parts of the film is when the youngest boy, Chuck, talks to Thomas about not remembering his parents but wondering if they’re somewhere missing him.
It’s so incredibly humanizing to these characters and refreshing amongst the numerous action hero films recently released.
Moviegoers beware, this is not the type of film to take a bathroom break during. The audience member is expected to follow the characters and hold on tight as they race through all the different twists and turns.
Overall, “The Maze Runner” proved to be much more than the typical young adult franchise, ultimately assuring viewers that sometimes stepping into the unknown is the best form of survival.