Producer Michael Bay and director Jonathan Liebesman continue to flog dead horses whilst ruining people’s childhoods.
Contrary to popular belief I actually think that Michael Bay did a decent job with the first Transformers movie. It was pretty faithful to the cartoon and the child in all of us fulfilled an ambition to watch robot behemoths battling it out. The problem with taking on the turtles project isn’t just the execution but the source material itself.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles had already spawned four feature length movies, various TV shows and endless merchandise before this project begun. There was a clamour to see a return of the Transformers by the time it was rebooted in 2007 but is anyone really interested in seeing the ailing TMNT brand rebooted? (apparently yes according to the box office results).
Anyone hoping for a nostalgia trip back to their childhoods will be bitterly disappointed. Some characters such as April O’Neil and Shredder are unrecognisable from the cartoon whilst others such as Casey Jones, Krang and Bebop & Rocksteady are absent entirely.
The only constant is the turtles themselves who are still stuck in a time warp of pop culture references and horribly dated 80’s pastiche. Even with comedic genius Will Arnett featuring prominently, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is never intentionally funny and the script throughout is unforgivably cheesy and cringe inducing.
People don’t particularly act in Michael Bay films but even with such low standards Megan Fox continues to be an annoyance and is woefully miscast as April O’Neil while William Fichtner and Whoopi Goldberg look faintly embarrassed throughout.
All this equates to a franchise that didn’t need rebooting filled with rubbish acting and corny dialogue. Possibly the worst reboot of all time.
If you came to this film because you like watching people running through mazes you will not be disappointed.
If you have seen any film ever you will have seen pretty much everything that happens in Maze Runner. Lord of the Flies, Battle Royale or Hunger Games for people who like friendship instead of murder. I guarantee you wont read a review for this film that goes more than six lines without mentioning The Hunger Games such is the obvious comparison. The reason for this is the huge success of that series is literally the only reason this film exists. Rather than have the good looking young adults fight themselves they instead battle huge spider alien creatures whilst doing a lot of running through mazes. Imagine Battle Royale vs Predator and you are pretty much there. I wont bore you with the list of clichés trotted out in The Maze Runner but put it this way the only part of the film that shocked me was the fat, curly haired kid not being comic relief. Another annoyance with this film is that obviously it is the start of a franchise and trilogy so even though this is the first film in the series it already feels episodic and very much like a piece of work that will never stand on its own. This is the problem with releasing films in this way, does anyone ever watch Attack of the Clones or The Matrix Reloaded or even Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers by themselves? No, those films exist to move the story along and connect the first and final chapters but at least the other films in those respective series’ make this worthwhile. The Maze Runner already feels like a means to an end designed as an introduction rather than just a film in its own right. However for all it’s flaws if you can switch off your brain completely Maze Runner does at least look amazing and the characters are likeable if paper thin. Credit goes to Will Poulter (Son of Rambow), Ki Hong Lee and Thomas Brodie-Sangster (Jojen Reed for any GOT fans) for squeezing the most they can from poorly written characters and I suppose even protagonist Dylan O’ Brien is fine considering he is playing the kind of character who would be portrayed by Megan Fox if the role had been female. Loads of people will hate this but if you just want a pure piece of popcorn Hollywood fluff this is completely adequate.