Twilight was not the first so-called young-adult book to ever become a movie franchise, but it was most definitely a game changer. Once it started making money hand over sparkly fist, every studio in town started snapping up everything in the best seller section of the nearest Barnes & Noble, and the result has been a rash of movies like I Am Number Four, The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, Beautiful Creatures, Divergent, Vampire Academy, The Host and The Hunger Games.
They're all about attractive teenagers with some kind of special talent that makes them a unique part of a world-changing story. Usually there is a love triangle, and a handful of supporting friends, and the bad guys are never singular villains, they're cogs in some larger, institutional structure. And it's not that this formula guarantees a bad movie (The Hunger Games is bucking that trend nicely), but that it is, well, just a formula that gets old and predictable.
Enter The Maze Runner.
Based on James Dashner's book, it's about a guy who wakes up inexplicably trapped with a bunch of other boys Lord of the Flies style in a garden surrounded by enormous walls. Behind the walls is a maze, and inside that maze are big things that go chomp, chomp, bite in the night.
Now, I haven't read the book, so I have no idea what happens next or if that whole premise does devolve into a typical Twilight love triangle with a bumbling, seemingly normal teenager at the center of it all. I do know, however, that going purely off the newly released trailer for the movie, it looks vastly more interesting than nearly every other young-adult movie hitting theaters these days. The Maze Runner looks more like Cube with teenagers and monsters than it does any of these other YA books turned to movies. It looks like there's a sense of adventure and discovery and mystery to this, and that's weirdly rare in teen movies these days.
The Maze Runner hits theaters on September 19, 2014.
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