The Box where Thomas arrives has a random caged animal never explained in the movie with Thomas. Then Thomas runs off for no apparent reason, and tries to escape the very first night.
Chuck has a smaller role, I felt. His storyline is still there, but Alby decided to give Thomas the tour in the movie version. Chuck basically solved the end puzzle in the book, although to his credit, Chuck in the movie saved the device thing from falling. Minho is also introduced early on as a key character. Gally is still a jerk to Thomas, but it feels more forced without the background of the griever sting memories. Which brings me to my next point.
The background of the glade was also a bit off from the book. Gladers had fewer deliveries, less knowledge of grievers (no one alive to tell the tale), and no cliff for the griever hole. The book basically left Gladers with puzzles that required the final push with Thomas and Teresa to put the pieces together. The movie, however, decided to flesh out the puzzles (maze spelling words and special place the grievers go) to encompass more action scenes with the maze.
One of the most action packed scenes in the book, besides the ending, was when Thomas spent the night in the maze. There was still a chase sequence in the movie, but cleverly tricking the grievers off a cliff with the combined teamwork of Minho was replaced with crushing with a wall (there are a lot of close wall squeezes in the movie). It started with this whole griever tracking device to a long hallway that screams the perfect place for an attack.
The part that always stuck with me from the book was Teresa’s ability to communicate telepathically in her coma and give Thomas some info. The movie introduced her later in the plot and took out the telepathy, coma, and info. She’s still a pretty tough girl. A really great scene was when she was on the top of a tree-house building throwing things at the Gladers. Chuck said something along the lines of “Girls are awesome.”
The movie focused mainly on the maze. Griever attacks were more intense, without taking everyone down one by one idea from the book. I guess WCKD didn’t care about their variables anymore. Best part of the movie was definitely the maze scenes, although my favorite moment was when they found this green exit sign above a door. It was just perfect comedic timing.
The action scenes were intense and fast paced. It felt more dramatic than the book, but it worked. Despite all this– not a bad adaptation, and can easily lead to the sequels. Wish there was more Glader slang than colloquial, though. So if you want more action, check out the movie. If you want to understand what’s going on with this strange world, I suggest reading the book first.
-Nicole G., 11th grade