The Maze Runner

Rated 2.0

A teenager (Dylan O'Brien) finds himself among a group of boys in a wilderness area enclosed by high walls and a vast maze, with no knowledge of who he is or how he got there. The script (by Noah Oppenheim, Grant Pierce Myers and T.S. Nowlin, from James Dashner's novel) is a mash-up of The Hunger Games, Lord of the Flies and TV's Lost, with a dollop of The Secret Garden and just a dash of King Kong. The cast features a band of handsome young unknowns, plus one token pretty girl (Kaya Scodelario) and a walk-through star cameo (Patricia Clarkson). Director Wes Ball, in his first feature, doesn't build much suspense—but then, this nonsensical story would defeat Steven Spielberg. The last line threatens us with “Part Two,” and Dashner has in fact written two sequels and a prequel. Let us pray for strength.