Tom Basham

The Maze Runner

In This Just OUT on September 21, 2014 at 9:00 am

Maze-PosterI had no idea which way “The Maze Runner” was going to take me. Now that I’ve made it through, I would like to know who moved my cheese doodles.

In a world where the Earth gives birth to a brand new teenager once a month via an elevator box, Thomas (Dylan O’Brien from “The Internship”) arrives in the glade. His first instinct is to run, as he does not know where he is or who he is. Alby (Ami Ameen from “The Butler”) was the first one up, and for three years the box has arrived with supplies and a new boy to whom Alby has to explain he has no explanation. They know nothing of their past or why they are chosen, but Alby thinks the only way out is through the Maze.

This was a wonderful setup, with no backstory or even an idea of what planet they are on or who is pulling the strings on the box. There was a whole “Lord of the Flies” thing going on, though Alby keeps them organized and focused on seeking a way out. Every morning the Maze opens and runners are sent in to map the Maze and chart all its configurations as it changes every day. I heard the Maze itself was designed based upon the Affordable Health Care website.

I saw this as a parable about early man as the boys learn about their deliverer (the box) and their deity (the Maze). Some of the boys see the Maze as a horizontal tower of Babylon made to separate them from their God, while others see it as an obstacle to be conquered in their quest for the promised land. Thomas thinks the latter, but they doubt him. They do not know if he is Savior or Satan so they are reluctant to follow him. Just like in Genesis, when a girl shows up, they all know “everything is going to change.”

This movie was a mix of mystery and horror and science fiction. That made it another kind of maze for Wes Ball, who was directing his first feature film. I liked the way he kept it a small story in the middle of something big – whatever that was. If you could just get through the maze you would know. I got through the movie, and I will give it 3 ½ stars out of 5. Maybe now we can find out who is behind the curtain, I mean the Maze.

Tom Basham is an indie filmmaker. Here is a link to his movie review site:


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