|The Maze Runner|
When opportunity arises, I feature Movie Monday. I recognize few people have the time or desire to read the amount I do, especially when it comes to the 100 Best Novels list. Luckily, Hollywood loves adapting a classic and I love a good story in any form.
If, in the first 30 seconds, I say, "That's not in the book," it really is not a good sign for the movie.
I have to be honest: I did not have high hopes for this movie. Back when I read the book, I had great hopes. The book, after all, seems made for the big screen in a lot of ways. Yet, as the movie's release date got closer and closer, my anticipation dimmed. I'm not sure if it was the lack of big names, the lack of promotion, or watching the trailer. Somehow, I just knew this movie was getting the back burner from its studio and was not going to live up to expectations.
Before I complain, a few things I liked: I loved how big the Glade is. Comprehending the size of the area was something with which I really struggled when reading the book, so it helped me a lot to see it visualized. I also thought Chuck was perfect. Both the actor chosen for the role and how he portrayed the character hit the nail on the head for me. While I did not necessarily feel wrong about the other characters, Chuck was the only one who felt just right. He was the small bed to my Goldilocks. Everyone else felt slightly off in ways I can neither pinpoint nor articulate. In Thomas's case, I'm pretty sure the actor just reminded me a little too much of Zac Efron. I expected him to break into song and run around the Glade golf course any minute.
Ok, now that we've all indulged together in a High School Musical 2 throwback, on to the complaints. It feels harsh to call it that, but let's be real. This is the internet and I write a blog reviewing books and movies. If my issues with this adaptation aren't complaints, I'm not sure what to call them. I will participate in obligatory self-shaming for whining about stupid things.
It all comes down to this, really: there were too many changes. Everything from the progression of events to the elimination of Thomas and Theresa's telepathy to the message in the maze to the altered exit from it. It seemed every element had at least one change of varying size. If they had made a few small changes, I would have understood. Heck, even if they had made some big changes for the sake of character progression or plot, I would have been ok. For instance, if it had been the changed exit alone, I would have understood that jumping into an invisible hole in the sky is difficult to depict visually. It's like in the film adaptation of Prince Caspian. They add that whole battle scene at the castle which totally isn't in the book, but they did so to increase the pace of the film and it beautifully shows the conflict in Peter's character, his struggle with pride in particular. But that's not what happened here. They changed something of everything. It annoyed me. Couldn't they just let the story stand on its own? Maybe give it a few minor adjustments for the sake of visual storytelling, but overall the story did not need tampered with that much.
All my griping aside, the movie just had the wrong feel to me. Something (or maybe a lot of things) were off. Take or leave my opinion. That's all it is, after all. But, my opinion is that I simply didn't like it. I don't plan on seeing the sequel, even if it does get made, which I'm doubting at this point.
Oh, and I totally called one thing: the Greivers are completely gross on screen.