… That’s not totally fair, they ripped off so many movies I can’t single them out for just aping The Last of Us. There are too many ripped movies to name them all but off the top of my head there’s:

Hunger Games (so Battle Royale twice removed)
Parts: The Clonus Horror
half of the modern zombie genre
I Am Legend (for the record I prefer the 1970s funkadelic Charlton Heston Omega Man version of the story)
Hogan’s Heroes (technically not a movie)
Tank Girl
and Solar Babies

Just by the title and about 10 seconds into the trailer for the original Maze Runner, you knew the franchise was based on a Young Adult series of books, even if you aren’t familiar with the books. The movie plays like a poor man’s Hunger Games, ripping off bits & pieces, and enormous chunks of the movies I already listed. It’s full of YA (read PG) angst and … running. Omg, there was SO much running! It wouldn’t surprise me if they had to pay Tom Cruise royalties there was so much running! Not since Space Mutiny has a main character spent so much time telling someone to “GO, GO!” It happens so often you can play a drinking game out of it. To be fair though, “Runner” is in the title, so we were warned.

There’s a lot not to like about this movie but I think there’s also a lot to like. Sure, it ripped off a ton of movies but the elements it ripped off were good. There were some great set pieces in the Cloverfield parts. And the Tank Girl/ Solar Babies parts we’re interesting too. The, The Last of Us parts were certainly creepy. Not to get confusing but the Parts: The Clonus Horror parts :) we’re fun as well.

Another bright spot of the movie is casting, with Latin American Jon Stuart played by Giancarlo Esposito as a stand-out performance. And hey, Steve the Pirate is in it! On a side note, is it me or were half the noses in this movie terribly distracting??? Whenever the main character was on the screen, I spent the whole time staring at Dylan O’Brien’s nose.

The movie felt a tad long. By the end of the movie, I was sitting there thinking “ok, let’s wrap this up.” To the movie’s credit though, I will probably watch the third movie when it comes out … on video. And I’ll probably go back an watch the first The Maze Runner just to get the back story.

Pros: Took elements from a bunch of good movies

Cons: Took elements from a bunch of good movies. 90% of the movie was mediocre. Omg, the running!

My Take: 5 and a half out of 10 dead ends

Final Thoughts: The next YA franchise should be titled The Derivative. [*Mic drop*]