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‘Maze Runner’ holds movie viewers captive

By Staff | Sep 24, 2014

A self-described who, what, where, when and why puzzler, “The Maze Runner” has a “Lost” stranded perception intertwined with an intensifying deadline for determining the risks of standing still or plunging forward.

Once Thomas (Dylan O’Brien) emerges memory-less from a lift carry drums, ropes and tubes, he stares at a group of boys his age situated in a grassy glade surrounded by a huge gray wall. He instantly has more curiosity of what’s beyond the blockade than the humming, nearly blissful ararian community. Warned that creepy critters and an endlessly evolving maze waits beyond, the viewer is simultaneously pondering predatory pressures amidst the appeal of a tranquil, self-sustaining life.

Hints abound that this primitive paradise community has finite written all over it. The “do your part and never harm anyone” mantras are basic, but punishment awaits for any inquiring about the wall.

While wrestling with a “Lord of the Flies” kind of single gender arrangement, the emergence of a lone girl rattles the power hierarchy. Oddly, it is a memory – not testosterone sexual competitiveness – that gradually pushes a majority of the clan to investigate beyond.

Eventually, “Maze Runner” gains mystery cells revealing a plight in a post-Apocalyptic “experiment” reminiscent of those regimented societies from “Hunger Games” and “Insurgent.” The marauding moving wall takes on a chilly creepiness itself more than the huge insects that harvest most who venture inside. Whether you opt for action or staying put, this enthralling recipe holds one hostage to its “in the beginning..” grip.