Shattered Illusions

The last time I wrote a Shattered Illusions, it was on the second installment to the “Divergent” movies series, based on heart breaker Veronica Roth’s book series. My opinion then was biting, due to my own extreme liking of the books, the severity of the changes made when they were brought to the big screen was increased sevenfold.

I also had the pleasure of reading “The Maze Runner” before it was picked up by Hollywood. Unlike my review for “Insurgent,” I will focus mainly on the movie itself, because, when I separated it from the books I love, I found I was equally enthralled by the movie adaptions. 

In the books, I was devastated by how these children were treated as test subjects by their government; I felt their fear in the maze, their anxiety once in the Scorch and similar revolution towards the ominous WICKED and the lies of their employees. 

Told from the perspective of Thomas, one of the Gladers, the movie’s scenes had me on the edge of my seat, despite knowing what was going to happen. It was not just the work of an amazing cast of young actors throwing themselves into the scenes, but the content and layout of the scenes themselves. I’m talking about the placement of the camera and how it caught the characters and their surroundings at just the right angle and moment, with a musical score adding further drama to the events unfolding. 

These children, the Gladers, have watched their friends die for three years, only to find out someone was watching them the entire time, and never saved them. Then, those same people trick them into feeling safe and they are forced to run blindly into a world they have no recollection of, facing monsters in the forms of zombies (known as Cranks) and everyday people crippled by greed and self-serving righteousness.

The one thing that threw me off, and I also say this lightly, was that the Cranks shared multiple similarities with the zombies in the video game “The Last of Us.”  They had a clicking sound and seemed to have a sort of fungus that would grow from their bodies like roots and would spread against walls. Still, they were scary enough for me to reach for the safety that is my boyfriend’s hand during several parts.

Thomas is an amazing character; his fierce loyalty and honor place him above many modern day “celebrities,” and his cleverness saves him and his friends on multiple occasions. He is a leader without a big head but knows when to push for what is right. Dylan O’Brien has captured him wonderfully and I look forward to the next movie.