Before starting, it must be clear that I am not writing about the most recent of the "Maze Runner" movies. "The Scorch Trials" (the second book in the series and the second movie) was released more recently to this date, and I just want to be clear that I'm writing about the first movie in the series, "The Maze Runner."
I recently had to take a flight across the country and thought reading a book would be the best way to pass the time. My brother had recommended the book series to me almost a year ago and the guy sitting next to me in the airport terminal happened to be reading one of the books in the series, "The Scorch Trials." After noticing this coincidence, I decided that was a sign to go ahead and download "The Maze Runner" to my Kindle account and the rest was history. I've since read the first two books in the series, and I'm undoubtedly hooked. My plan is to finish the series within the next couple of weeks, but while sitting in my apartment alone, I decided it would be a good time to check out the first movie of the series that came out in 2014. While I watched it, I couldn't help but notice how much the movie script writers/directors missed from the book, and I felt hurt by the progression of the movie. That's what this post is for...
1. Thomas knew his name from the start.
Right after he came out the box, he already knew of his name. However, he really didn't remember much else about his past life (whatever that was to him at the time.) In the movie, however, Thomas doesn't even remember his name coming out of the box. In fact, he remembers absolutely nothing.
In the book, not only does Thomas remember his name, he remembers more about his past life. For instance, almost from the start, Thomas thinks he has something to do with the whole Maze setting. He feels as though part of it is because of him. We first catch wind of this when Ben attacks him in the movie and states something along the line of, "This is because of you!" This leads me to my next point.
2. The "changing."
This is an important concept in the book, mainly because of what happens when someone goes through the "changing." For those who may not have read the book, but have seen the movie, I will explain further. When someone is stung by a Griever, they are rehabilitated back in the Glade. Then, they begin to remember more about what the Maze is all about, and each person who goes through it has seen Thomas in their memory. The movie does not explain much about the "changing," and I feel as though this confused viewers as to why Ben was banished so suddenly. There was more thought put into it by members of the Glade, particularly Newt and Alby, and once they realized that he was past rehabilitation and a danger to the group, they banished him.
3. Alby doesn't like Thomas in the beginning of the book.
During the start of the movie, Alby takes on the role of Thomas' friend quite quickly. He takes him out of the prison, shows him around the Glade and introduces him to people. He is understanding, and helpful to Thomas. This is NOT the case in the book. Alby doesn't trust Thomas in the book and is everything but helpful to him. Abby doesn't come around to Thomas (SPOILER ALERT) until he saves him from the Grievers in Thomas' first venture into the Maze.
4. Thomas and Theresa can't speak through their minds.
In the book, Thomas and Theresa are able to telepathically speak through their minds, which allows them to recollect memories from their previous life. This is a HUGE part of the book and I feel as though the movie really missed on this because this ability between Thomas and Theresa really gives the reader a solid understanding of how important their relationship is.
Even more so than Alby, Gally is way more difficult with Thomas. James Dasher, the author of the books, makes it clear right off the bat that Gally was Thomas' number one enemy in the Glade. In the movie, however, Gally shows Thomas respect when he first remembers his name and locks arms with him, offering a genuine smile. This really threw me off as I watched the movie and I felt as though they didn't portray Gally as enough of a bad guy.
6. The device found in the Griever.
In the book, it is assumed that the Grievers must have come from the creators of the Maze. In the movie, though, Minho finds a device in the Griever that triggers the boys' thought that the Creators must have created the Grievers. The device later helps them find a hidden part of the Maze, which later helps the boys find a way out of the Maze.
7. The Grievers.
The Grievers are without a doubt a huge issue with the Maze in the book. However, I felt as though they were described and portrayed so differently in the book and the movie, respectively. In the book, the Grievers seemed to be slow, not very agile, slimebalms that can roll. However, this couldn't be any more different in the movie. They are made out to be agile, big, wall-friendly creatures - true killing machines. The book describes that they are not more than six feet tall which is so different from the movie because they tower over the Gladers.
These are some of the biggest differences that I noticed in the movie that really changed how I pictured some important parts of the book. However, I don't want to take anything away from the movie because it was entertaining and I thought that there were certain things that they nailed. I thought they created a perfect image of the Glade itself, and I thought they casted almost perfectly, too. I know it sounds cliche, but please, READ THE BOOK BEFORE YOU WATCH THE MOVIE!