Teenagers in dystopian worlds have become pretty standard fare in both books and films. This has been true ever since Lord of the Flies examined the breakdown of society via schoolboys trapped alone on an island, and carries through to the present day in the form of The Hunger Games franchise, among others. Now we have yet another similar scenario with director Wes Ball’s The Maze Runner, based on the novel by James Dashner.
The central figure of The Maze Runner is Thomas (Dylan O’Brien), who awakes to find himself in the Glade with no apparent memory of how he got there. The community is full of teenage boys and located at the center of a massive maze which “runners” periodically attempt to solve. Thomas must piece together memories of his past involving an organization called W.C.K.D. in order to solve the maze and liberate the community.
The second trailer for The Maze Runner introduces us to our main characters and the film’s central concern, including the presence of Teresa (Kaya Scodelario), the first girl to be dropped into the Glade. The plot itself would be interesting in the hands of a director like Guillermo del Toro or someone similar, but I have to say that the trailer does not make the characters seem terribly interesting. That might be beside the point – maybe we’re not going to be meant to care about our heroes and their pasts, focusing more on the solution to the mystery rather than the growing pains of a bunch of teenagers. But honestly: these kids look dull.
I must grant, however, that I’m not the target audience for The Maze Runner. I’m sure the presence of stars from Skins and Teen Wolf will inspire people to go to the movie, as well as the popularity of the book itself. Certainly 20th Century Fox seems to be depending on that, as they’re already planning to make the sequel.
The Maze Runner will hit cinemas September 19. You can check out the second trailer below.