Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials


Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

The Maze Runner: Scorch Trials
"Fear can't touch you if you don't care"

Following the example of Katniss Everdeen and her lethal games, The Maze Runner comes in triplicate. The Scorch Trials is No 2 in the cycle.

The original had a bunch of teenagers living in an enclosed paradise for reasons not entirely understandable, although it appeared in some way scientific that they were being prepared as specimens for a medical experiment.

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Thomas (Dylan O'Brien) and his mates do what any right minded POW did in WWII, attempt to escape. In their case they make it through the maze only to discover that the world has been devastated, except for The Compound where the last living fascists have their prison cells and laboratories.

The concept, otherwise known as The Plot, copies traditional ideas from post-apocalyptic movies. The bad guys are inside The Compound. The rebels (good guys) are outside, mostly underground.

As for the kids, they keep on running. If they don't they will become lab rats, or meat for the rabid undead. In The Desolation are The Flare and The Scorch, whatever they may be, as well as tribes of infectious zombies, solar storms and weird communities of partygoers and paranoid freedom fighters.

The trick is to stay alive. Not easy in this environment. The problem with the film is that there is no character development. The kids are targets.

Credibility is compromised in the usual way. Where do the rebels find ammo for their weapons? Are they rebels, or simply survivors? Where do they buy their food? Cities are ruins. Life above ground is Martian in its bleakness.

Does The Scorch Trials advance The Plot and create pockets of interest? Not exactly. The story drifts weightless between the beginning and an end. There are horror shows, involving extras from World War Z, and violence, involving helicopter gunships.

Fear can't touch you if you don't care. The same is true of excitement. Thomas is betrayed by a close friend but you don't know why, or give the shadow of a damn. O'Brien's single expression is embedded upon his visage like a mask. Is it determination, or lockjaw?

If you haven't read the book, or watched Maze 1, you may suffer a confusion attack.

Be safe.

Reviewed on: 09 Sep 2015
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After having escaped the Maze, the Gladers now face a new set of challenges on the open roads of a desolate landscape filled with unimaginable obstacles.
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Director: Wes Ball

Writer: T S Nowlin, based on the novel by James Dashner

Starring: Dylan O'Brien, Kaya Scodelario, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Nathalie Emmanuel, Aidan Gillen, Patricia Clarkson, Katherine McNamara, Ki Hong Lee, Giancarlo Esposito, Barry Pepper, Rosa Salazar, Lili Taylor, Jacob Lofland, Tatanka Means, Dexter Darden

Year: 2015

Runtime: 131 minutes

BBFC: 12A - Adult Supervision

Country: US


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