The Maze Runner: Scorch Trials continues immediately after the events of the first film, The Maze Runner. Tomas (Dylan O’Brien) and the other survivors are picked up by a militant organization seemingly bent on saving them from the clutches of the evil organization known as WICKED. Everyone is given a hot shower and some hot food — so, everything seems cool at first. However, Tomas has some suspicions that are raised almost immediately after Teresa (Kaya Scodelario) is separated from their group for “testing” purposes. Tomas begins to scratch the surface of a new mystery, and the possibility that even though they left the maze, their fight for survival was far from over.
Scorch Trials seems to stick to their key ingredient — running away from something. That’s about it. And I’m fine with that. In this case, it keeps the movie moving forward even if it doesn’t provide much toward making the story any better. Watch them run through labs. Watch them run through a desert. Watch them run from weather, or, I don’t know, watch them run from some sort of I Am Legend infected-vampire-zombies. Yeah, let’s see what the audience thinks about THAT. I mean, even though this is just another young adult dystopian thriller (among a slew of other YA dystopian), Scorch Trials appears to nail action sequences, particularly when it comes to showing a real sense of urgency. The Maze Runner brand has clinched action, and that might be the main selling point of this movie in this genre — so in that aspect (action), this movie delivers. Also, the movie’s first act is gripping, and everything I was hoping to see in a Maze Runner sequel, but just as the narrative moves to the second act, things take a turn for the worst (again).
Even though this movie delivers some exciting chase scenes, it does remove the one thing that let me enjoy the first film: mystery. The clues and exploration in the first film allowed the viewer to experience everything Tomas was experiencing; he was our avatar. There was a sense of investment in the first film that was abruptly taken away at the very end. That abrupt abduction of something worthwhile is not only repeated in this film, but this time around, the ending wasn’t as exciting and it didn’t leave me wanting to know more about what was happening in Tomas’s world. I was over it. The mystery of the first film made me want to watch a sequel to see if there was more to it, but The Scorch Trials takes a lot of that away by giving Tomas very little to work with. We pretty much knew everything we had to know about Tomas, and instead of exploring the other characters, maybe fleshing them out a bit more, we are treated to watching Tomas run from one scene to the next. The film closely veers into mindless entertainment because of this. In lieu of depth, we’re given more underdeveloped characters who suddenly appear in Tomas’s life, and suddenly care about Tomas and his friends — granted, that might be because their group is technically a highly valuable asset capable of providing the science towards a cure to a plague that has devastated all of mankind, but… meh. Anyway, the film’s narrative becomes formulaic, and eventually suffers from another cliched and stale ending. Just know this: there’s going to be another one, there might be love triangle there, and… yeah.
I had high hopes for The Scorch Trials, but as most movies trying hard as hell to make a salel on a mediocre story, all the good parts appear to be in the trailer. The Scorch Trials is an action-packed movie where more is pretty much less; it does a hell of a job improving their action sequences, which, for the most part, were technically great, but despite that, there’s very little reason to watch this movie unless you were a diehard fan of the book.
The Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials Review photos courtesy of: mazerunnermovies.com