Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials (12a)
Directed by: Wes Ball
Starring: Dylan O’Brien, Kaya Scodelario & Thomas Brodie-Sangster
Running time: 131 min
In this next chapter of the epic “Maze Runner” saga, Thomas (Dylan O’Brien) and his fellow Gladers face their greatest challenge yet: searching for clues about the mysterious and powerful organization known as WCKD. Their journey takes them to the Scorch, a desolate landscape filled with unimaginable obstacles. Teaming up with resistance fighters, the Gladers take on WCKD’s vastly superior forces and uncover its shocking plans for them all.
Picking up exactly where the first film finished, our heroes exit their helicopter to find themselves in a large, luxurious – by the glade standards – facility that houses a number of fellow escapees. Thomas (O’Brien) once again uses his curious mind and finds that he and his friends have left one horror only to find themselves in greater danger than before.
The Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials reunites the surviving cast for this sequel with a script that has virtually every cliché in the book; at times the audience can even guess the dialogue before it’s spoken! There is virtually no screen time given to the supporting cast members to flesh out their characters. Instead we are once again left to focus on Thomas and his murky past.
The plot remains a “run until they catch you” thriller, albeit a very tame one. There is a little bit more explanation given in regards to the reason why the children are required and the plans WCKD have in store for them, but nothing to really explain how the landscape became what it is (save for the briefest of lines from the first movie).
Director Wes Ball, who made the first film, seems to have decided that desolate scenes of a destroyed cityscape, or dark corners lit by flash-light are the way to make an exciting movie. Time and time again we see our plucky band of perfectly groomed runners crawl through rubble or walk over a sun burnt landscape without so much as a blemish on their skin. The city skyscrapers are dwarfed by sand dunes, yet no explanation is given as to how so much sand could swamp the city and leave a perfectly deserted country road intact!
There are a few action scenes this time around, mostly involving the former inhabitants of the cities. The “infected” run at full pelt and resemble something akin to 28 Days Later in both appearance and manner. The viewer could indeed be forgiven for thinking they are watching a PG-rated zombie movie, for at times that’s what this sequel feels like.
The Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials is similar to the first film in that it is overly long with a poor script and that its only saving grace are the few action scenes or mildly thriller touches. By the end of the film, the viewer may well know how the third instalment will pan out, but will they really care after the boredom at times of the first two movies?
For fans of the book and young fiction, this may seem like another decent attempt at bringing a much loved book to the silver screen, but for cinema goers, you will have seen this many times before!
2 out of 5 Nerds