(Before I start, let me warn you that this entry contains spoilers. Don’t read if you don’t wanna know!)
I’ve fangirled about The Maze Runner Trilogy by James Dashner before. And I know I mentioned they’re turning it into a movie, too. I can’t remember the last time I was that excited about a movie. I know you American guys got it weeks ago, so I pretty much spent the past few weeks stewing in my own jealousy. Until, finally, last night I went to see it with my friend Mel who I maaaayyy have infected with my obsession just a tiny bit (sorry, not sorry!).
Let me begin by saying I know it wasn’t a bad movie. It some some good acting, a good cast, great special effects…only it had nothing at all to do with the book. If anything, it was a bad case of plot stealing but they changed so many details that it ended up being a completely new story. I know some things can’t be helped but changed but they did it with things that changed nothing about the course of the story, that didn’t make it easier to understand or for any other reason – seemingly – but that they simply wanted to change them.
I just can’t get over how disappointed I was, so let me list all the things that were wrong with this movie:
- Thomas’ name: Why did they make him ‘forget’ his name and find it back in such a dramatic way? In what way did that change anything about the story or make anything easier to understand? They only wasted time on a subject that really didn’t matter because it explained nothing about the ‘name issue’ as it is in the book and it didn’t help character development in any way either. Completely pointless.
- The whole ‘Ben thing’: They spent ages going into tiny details about Alby and how he got there but they cut everything about Ben so short it doesn’t even make sense anymore. The whole scene in the woods was so ridiculous. How would Thomas even know who he is? Why didn’t they explain anything about his condition before? It’s one of the key scenes in the book, so why did they have to make it so dull in the movie?
- The characters’ age: Nothing against some of the actors. Most did a great job. But Teresa looked like she’s in her 30’s. Some of the extras looked even older. I spent a whole minute chuckling about the guy in the background when they were fighting Gally over the issue of whether they should leave the Maze or not. Seriously, if you’re gonna see the movie, look out for him. Ripped undershirt with an unbuttoned shirt on top. And the most awkward 90’s heartthrob hair I’ve ever seen. He’s at least in his late 30’s. I was like ‘Dude, one of the kids got to bring his perv uncle! How unfair!’
- Chuck’s death: That seen crushed me in the book. I was bawling, I wanted to hurl the book across the room. In the movie? Nothing. I mean, it was still a shame because Chuck was the only really good thing about this movie (loved the actor, loved how effortlessly he fitted into the role) but it was so completely void of any emotion. I don’t know if it was me because at that point I was already so over everything that was wrong with this movie but it really didn’t catch me at all.
- The Grievers: It may just be my imagination that varies from everyone else’s but they looked nothing like I imagined them. I thought they were a lot more…fleshy. And creepy. They looked way too scifi for me.
- When the Grievers come for the kids: Again, this may just be my issue but that mood, that fear when they were told that every night, one of the kids would get taken was one of the best and most intense part of the book. And in the movie…it didn’t happen. Boo!
- The way out: This is one of the things I meant when I said they changed things for no apparent reason. Obviously, doing it like it was in the books would have taken special effects. Well, so did the way they ended up doing it. It didn’t add any suspense. It didn’t explain things better. There was no reason to change it at all. So pointless.
- Teresa’s and Thomas’ relationship: They changed so many details and scenes about this. And again, for no good reason. Because if you look at it from someone who hasn’t read the books, it’s just as confusing as it was in the original story, if not more.
- Character development: They just didn’t dedicate enough time to the characters. I think we can all agree that the situations they are in is extreme and no one can realistically say how and why they react the way they do. But in the book, you could follow their development. You could see that every action had a reaction. In the movie it just seemed like the characters kept switching around to suit the scene rather than the other way round.
- The end: I know it got the job done. I know that it was meant to hint at a sequel. But again, there was so much missing. In the book, they got a view of the chaos the world’s in. In the movie, they got a last look at the Maze. The book ended with the letter from Chancelor Paige, in the movie they did this overdramatic staged death thing and her hold a monologue rather than write the quick memo. I personally found the way it was done in the book more dramatic because it was simpler. A lot more fitting for the situation, too, or are they gonna tell me that everyone involved with the planning of all the trials are gathered in that one room? And they could have easily adapted to that in the movie. Wouldn’t be the first movie to end with writing. Lame.
There you go. I could go on forever and ever. But I think these bring across quite well why I was so disappointed. Now bring on Mockingjay so the bitter aftertaste can leave my mouth!