Movie Review: The Maze Runner: Scorch Trails

The Maze Runner: Scorch Trails


Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials is a film that is more targeted for teenagers to young adults. If you saw the first or you're into post-apocalyptic films, be my guest and go watch it. In some ways, it reminds you of the Divergent Series film, Insurgent, with all the action going on. I wouldn't recommend it for adults, there's some jump scares and it's definitely not suitable for people with heart conditions. As for the people who have read the book, you might be hurt, saddened and disappointed since (from what I have heard) it doesn't follow most of the events that happen in the book, unlike the first film. Therefore, those who have read the book, you may want to think twice before heading to the cinema. Overall, you should watch this film in theaters but it wouldn't hurt to wait for the DVD release.

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In the second installment of the post-apocalyptic The Maze Runner film series that follows the story line of James Dashner’s novel, “Scorch Trails” barely lives up to the hype of what was the first film. If you saw the first one, you’d definitely want to seek more answers in Scorch Trails as the mystery is still up in the air. It isn’t highlighted for another maze, instead it features a lot more running, you may even want to tag along with them at some points of the film. Also, it’s headlined for being more of an action-thriller from the very beginning til the end, with some additional zombie-horror taste in the middle. On the other hand, when you figure it all out, it’s only a continuation that is just setting up the story for the upcoming film where all the important scenes will take place. Basically, since nothing major develops the main characters, they all follow Thomas’ orders and question his curiosity. Another negative is the pace of the film, it’s very quick and at times it might be hard to pick up with the story line, and perhaps it looks a bit messy and you may forget the main story if you aren’t focused.

Scorch Trails proceeds from the three-year nightmare that was the maze as Thomas (Dylan O’Brien) and the rest of the crew are taken into a facility that is located in the middle of a dessert which is the complete opposite of the inferno that was the maze since they’re given shelter, food and of course safety from “WCKED”(yeah right). Without a doubt, this wouldn’t last long with Thomas’ curiosity as they seek clearer answers as why they were sent to this facility and what’s, in fact, WCKED up to. Once Thomas and the rest of the Gladers figure it out what’s really going down, they escape from the facility and they enter a desolated landscape “The Scorch” where they clash between zombies that are named cranks and bands, plus with WCKED is on their tail. During their journey for the truth, they make allies in hopes of finding a so-called “Right Arm” and to later take down WCKED’s implementations.

Dylan O’Brien (Teen Wolf) once again did a terrific job portraying the lead role of Thomas. Unlike in the film, nobody really betrays Thomas who’s odd behavior from the rest of the gladers turns him into the leader of the group as he commands like a trouper despite his young age. In the film, we figure out why Thomas so peculiar from the others which explain his acts and the sacrifices he has made to save the others. As said, O’Brien looks comfortable being the leader that the story needs.

The newcomers, Giancarlo Esposito (Breaking Bad, Once Upon A Time) and Rosa Salazar (NBC’s Parenthood, AHS, Insurgent) also did a decent job playing their respective roles, as they have a father-daughter relationship although they aren’t related. Esposito and Salazar are from Denmark and Canada, but they make it seem that they are from a Spanish speaking country which they make it fit perfectly. Jacob Loftland, who stars as Aris Jones, is a mini-Thomas, but he’s just a little too curious. Aris joins Thomas’ squad in the film and is said to have been the only male in his maze.

The arrival of Aidan Gillen (Dark Knight Rises, Games of Thrones), who portrays Mr. Janson, gives a familiar face to the older audience. Janson is basically Ava Paige’s henchmen, doing all the work for her. Alan Tudyk (Firefly, Big Hero 6, Frozen, Subgatory) also makes multiple appearances. Tudyk blends in good in the film, he looks like he’s been through a lot and ends up being an owner of the club and secretly working for WCKED.

As for the actors from the previous film, Newt (Thomas Brodie-Sangster), Minho (Ki Hong Lee), Teresa Agnes (Kaya Scodelario), and Frypan (Dexter Darden), you don’t see anything major develop for their characters because of the running and battles, they just tag along and sometimes question Thomas’ decisions. It’s kinda sad since you are expecting more from them, which isn’t their fault. Patricia Clarkson (Ava Paige) did appear more than her recorded film at the end of the maze of the first film. As the leader of WCKED she doesn’t really look like a real threat, she has her reasons although she could have been more of a threat to the gladers than she is now.

You might not be totally happy with Wes Ball’s second crack at The Maze Runner series which is only his second film as a director, though he does gives you a bit of everything in this The Maze Runner sequel. Ball’s work could have been better. The premise is intriguing although the story line is hard to follow as you need to keep up with the pace, and the acting left something to desire. The scenery does look great, they have shots of an abandoned city and the zombies are straight up freaky in a good way.

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