This is a blog series in which I look at books that have recently been produced as films. I love adaptations of plots but sometimes, it can go terribly wrong in the process (look at The Fault in our Stars, for example. Controversial? We can discuss this another time friends...)
The Maze Runner by James Dashner
Screenplay by various, Film directed by Wes Ball
I picked up The Maze Runner series because it specifically sold itself as 'for fans of The Hunger Games'. I love the dystopian future theme that has been taking over the cinemas lately and The Maze Runner is a great contender. I loved the first book and the overall idea, albeit VERY similar to THG but hey, they did tell me that in the first place...
All male characters (initially) and a random, deserted place they've all landed in; I actually found the start of the book pretty slow. However, I appreciated the time spent describing individual characters although there are a lot of nicknames to remember.
The whole storyline is pretty action packed after the introductions and it was a page turner from there onwards. The Glade seems genuinely horrific and the 'grievers' (awful, slimy, machine creatures...) can be imagined as pretty terrifying.
You get pretty attached to certain characters which isn't surprising as they're pretty detailed and their individual relationships with Thomas shows a lot about the personality each one. I think this works really well but didn't expect the same to come across in the film, due to having to compress it, basically.
So I still like the character of Thomas as I did in the book, played by Dylan O'Brien (who at first glance, I actually thought was the same guy who played Percy Jackson. It isn't. Just thought I'd let you know.) Not a lot of detail about certain characters. Gally is less likeable from the get go in the book and Alby isn't as 'fatherly'.
The Glade isn't half as scary as the book makes out. They're actually all having a pretty great time with no families, normality and in the middle of a field. It's all a bit Glastonbury.
The grievers are fantastic, couldn't have imagined them better.
The only female character makes a very quick entry into the film and is useless, and in the book she doesn't really play much of a part until the end but is still pretty useless. I actually think Teresa is a seriously poor character. Kaya is stunning but that's all I can say about that.
As far as 'book to film' standards go, it's pretty damn poor.
HOWEVER, I thought it was a good film. The effects were great and the highlight is pretty unsurprisingly, the action and adventure inside the maze, particularly Minho and Thomas' second time in the maze together.
I'm going to be honest, I think the book series goes downhill from here so I can only imagine that will be the same for the films and next up in 2015 - Maze Runner: Scorch Trials...