New 'Maze Runner' trailer anything but a dead end

The popular series of young-adult novels gets its first movie treatment. Crave's Eric Mack fears it may induce flashbacks to a summer road trip gone wrong.

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The "Maze Runner" hits theaters this fall. Screenshot by Eric Mack/CNET

This summer, my family's road trip took us across the Great Plains, over Appalachian hills, through the dangers of the maze, and into terrible battles with the grievers. That's because while driving 4,000 miles from the Rockies to the Carolinas and back, we listened to the entire series of "Maze Runner" novels -- nearly 40 hours of the apocalyptic, conspiracy, and sadism-laden young-adult narrative. Now, the latest trailer for its Hollywood movie adaptation has dropped.

For a pasty tech blogger born and bred in the sunny, dry paradise of the inter-mountain West where beloved rocky peaks keep watch over my high-desert home, the "Maze Runner" was also an allegory for trying to escape the sweltering heat, humidity, and mugginess of the South. In the final weeks of our journey we experienced false starts and dead ends as various automotive components failed, we became trapped by the inability of parts over a three-day Independence Day weekend, and my dog was briefly taken by a man in Tennessee brandishing a large handgun -- a long story of mistaken identity that I didn't stick around to hear the end of after retrieving the dog.

We didn't face any actual grievers -- the animal/robot hybrid killing machines in both the books and upcoming film -- but the mosquitoes that plagued our campsite in Memphis were nearly as harrowing.

Perhaps that's why the areas of my ankles and legs that were bit up so thoroughly started to itch again as I watched the below trailer, a flashback of sorts.

Like so many other young-adult literary sensations, "The Maze Runner" is not particularly well-written. Ridiculous characters making more ridiculous choices speak in forced dialogue laden with cliches that serve only to push the narrative and the action forward while the mystery of the universe where the story takes place slowly unfolds.

In other words, it's the perfect formula for a new movie franchise. And if the trailer below is any indication, the first film in the series could be an even wilder ride than the novel, thanks to all the latest Hollywood bells and whistles.

I certainly plan to see it when it premieres in September, but if a mosquito sneaks into the theater, I will totally freak out and spill my Icee and Red Vines on the 'tweens in the row in front of me. You've been warned, movie-goers. Check the trailer for yourself below.

 

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