So much has and is coming out it’s hard to keep up with (and afford) all these movies! I’m so excited for so much, A Wrinkle in Time, Black Panther, Annihilation to name a few.
Recently however, I re-watched The Maze Runner movies and went to see the final instalment, The Death Cure. Now I’ve read the first book and a half of the second (I know), and I’ve always meant to read them all before seeing the movies again, but life happens, and my partner was adamant we see the newest film close to release.
Now, I’m all for movies taking at different direction when they are book adaptions, I mean how are you supposed to turn 6 hours of reading into a 2-hour film at most? The Maze runner series really takes on a new direction, diverting from the story enough to become its own. I’m glad I’d read what I had, because it gave me some grounding in the sometimes extreme deviations the story and plot takes between the movie and the books.
Before you expect this to go off into a ‘the books are better’ rant, this is definitely not that. Yes, the plot changes, storylines are different and details I loved are changed, but this trilogy of movies has its own life, enough for me to see it as a distinction from the book series. It’s almost like the movies tell a story of a very similar parallel universe. Without getting into too much detail, a lot of the more supernatural science fiction elements from the books are completely written out of the movies (e.g. the Flat Trans and those terrifying silver balls at the start of The Scorch Trials). Adapting these into the movies probably would have been terribly difficult and would have taken away from the more action driven narrative of the movies. What I have read of the books I would describe more as horror thrillers with action, whereas the movies focus heavily on action whilst including shorter, milder horror elements.
So, I’m definitely going to read the rest of the books, so I can really dissect the differences and plot deviations. Look out for me discussing the books in a ‘Book Club’ post!
Maze Runner: The Death Cure
So onto the final film, Maze Runner: The Death Cure. Without the last book as comparison, I have little to say on how it works as a book adaption, however in terms of the overarching story of the movies it is very hit and miss. I enjoyed the film immensely, and the cast are absolutely fantastic. Dylan O’Brien really owns the role of Thomas, whilst Newt and Minoh are performed brilliantly by Thomas Brodie-Sangster and Ki Hone Lee. Overall, I would recommend this film and the first two to people how enjoy the post-apocalyptic, hunger games styled genre, but the film definitely is not everyone’s cup of tea, and I’m not entirely sure the plot will grasp everyone over the course of three full films.
Spoiler territory ahead
Just a quick little bit on something that really, really annoyed me about this film in particular. Ava Paige has been one of my favourite characters outside the main troop of maze runners, and her character development in this film was phenomenal. Seeing her still dedicated to her work and all that she has sacrificed, whilst seeing a warmer, more sincere side to her was brilliantly written and portrayed. You want to fall in love with her and feel for her despite everything she has done. You unwillingly start to see her point of view and feel almost sorry for her. Then, when Thomas and Ava finally meet close the film’s end, Peter Baelish– I mean Janson – goes and kills her in such an anticlimactic way. I was expecting she’d die, by the hands of Janson probably, but I was excited to see that last bit of development between her and Thomas, a final understanding between the two. But this was cut short by a quick, cheap killing off of her character. I understand films are long and things need to be refined, this definitely gave the film a sudden, last minute turning point, but I was so excited to see more from her. After all the chaos it really upset me to see her end this way.
Anyway, I thoroughly enjoyed the film series and would recommend all give it a shot despite its misgivings. If anything, The Maze Runner is by far the best film of the franchise and is well worth watching even if you decide not to progress with the trilogy.