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|Originaltitel:||The Maze Runner|
|Genre:||Adventure, Action, Mystery|
|Laufzeit:||Approx. 114 min.|
|FSK:||From 12 years|
Without any memory a boy (Dylan O`Brien) wakes up in a clearing surrounded by a group of other boys. Soon he remembers his name Thomas, but everything else remains in the dark. From Alby (Aml Ameen), the leader of the boys, and his number two Newt (Thomas Brodie-Sangster) Thomas learns that he is in the middle of a huge labyrinth from which there seems to be no escape. Day after day so-called runners explore the corridors of the labyrinth. But they have not found a way to freedom in several years. That's why Alby and the others have built up a small society in which each individual has an important task to fulfil and has to abide by some rules. The most important thing is: never go into the labyrinth on your own. Thomas finds it very difficult to simply accept all this. When a girl (Kaya Scodelario) suddenly appears in the clearing that Thomas seems to know, the events take a dramatic turn…
"Maze Runner - The Chosen in the Labyrinth" is based on the successful novel trilogy by James Dashner. Of course the comparison to other Young Adult series like "The Tributes of Panem" or "Divergent - The Destination" is obvious. Dashner's books were also compared with the classic "Lord of the Flies" and the cult TV series "Lost". But even though all these associations are quite justified, one has to admit to the novel and its film adaptation of director-newcomer Wes Ball that the story goes its own way in a very pleasant way. For example, the almost obligatory love story for this genre is dispensed with. Also there are no young heroes with very special powers here. The protagonists are normal boys who have to assert themselves in an extreme situation and build a new kind of functioning society by their own efforts. And that makes the whole thing very exciting and interesting despite many well-known components.
However, the distribution of roles is somewhat clichéd. The first time the camera travels through the ranks of the "Chosen in the Labyrinth", the viewer already knows who the leader is, who the adversary for our hero will be, who the lovable fool will be, who will faithfully support Thomas and who will simply fall victim to the dark mysteries of the labyrinth as an extra. And also dramaturgically, subtlety isn't really the movie's biggest strength. There are dialogue sequences, for example, in which you certainly have the feeling that you can have a say. Also the meanwhile almost involuntarily funny "Tell my parents that I love them" - "You'll tell them that yourself" must not be missing.
Despite many clichés and a certain predictability, "Maze Runner - The Chosen in the Labyrinth" is very exciting and atmospherically staged. The scenes inside the labyrinth even manage to create some goose bumps, especially with younger viewers. What awaits the boys there, of course, should not be revealed at this point. But let's say this much: even if the logic is not always so precise here, the special effects, the camera work and also the very good sound design ensure a high level of tension, which can be kept at a decent level until the open end.
In recent years there have been repeated attempts to link the success of "Harry Potter", "Twilight" or "Panem" with film adaptations of book series from the Young Adult sector. Many of these attempts failed, which is especially annoying when the viewer isn't presented with a completed story. Even with "Maze Runner - The Chosen in the Labyrinth" this would be a big shortcoming, but it is already certain that there will be at least a second part, which will be released in cinemas as early as 2015. Wes Ball's feature film debut is by no means perfect, but for what the film wants to be, the Hollywood newcomer has really done a good job. Convincing young actors, an atmospherically dense staging and neat effects clearly prevail over the somewhat too clichéd script and make sure that at the end there is a quite positive overall impression. Therefore: absolutely worth seeing for lovers of dark dystopias, which are primarily aimed at a young target audience!
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