"The Maze Runner," adapted by scribes Noah Oppenheim, Grant Pierce Myers and T.S. Nowlin from the 2007 novel by James Dashner (the first in a trilogy), seems to share a closer kinship to William Golding's 1954 classic "Lord of the Flies" than to most of the modern fantasy YA book-to-screen upstarts. Constructed as a mystery, its various layers gradually unpeeling with each new discovery, the film eschews a lot of early exposition in exchange for a more deliberate build-up. Focusing on characters who do not remember their pasts is a unique hurdle which first-time feature director Wes Ball must jump, and he succeeds as allegiances form and relationships tighten—and, in other cases, unravel. As tautly devised as his picture is, Ball's literally shaky tackling of action signals that, in some respects, there is definite room for improvement.
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