Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials is the second film based on the books written by James Dashner and follows on from the previous instalment, The Maze Runner (2014). After having escaped the Maze, the Gladers, lead by Thomas, now face a new set of challenges on the open roads of a desolate landscape.
The Maze Runner films are another dot in a genre overcrowded by films they’re constantly compared to with The Hunger Games taking dominance and other attempts by the Divergent films and the adaptation failure that was City of Bones. each of these films that find themselves falling within this genre do have their strong moments but ultimately fall flat for the rest of the film.
The Scorch Trials does prove to be an insanely action packed film full of jump scares and moments of horror that reminded me of the Walking Dead or The Last of Us with their zombie like infected creatures. Because of it’s action packed nature, The Scorch Trials does prove to be more entertaining and enthralling than, say, Insurgent, which as I said in a previous review, was an improvement on it’s predecessor but still failed to grip the audience, only continuing the pace for the final two films. One thing that I’m glad the Maze Runner series is doing is that it’s not unnecessarily splitting the last books into two films. You could understand Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows doing this as the last book contained such a large story that it couldn’t be contained within one film, but when splitting films like Mockingjay and Alligent into two, it makes it harder to find and understanding of why that decision was made.
But then again, the Scorch Trials weren’t without faultsw but the action did outshine what was lacking in the story. There were more characters introduced, which is fine, with a hint of non-confirmist commentary behind escaping the maze in the first film and continuing to escape WCKD’s plans throughout the second, but there are still many questions still relatively unanswered that makes the narrative a little more complicated. We, the audience, are still waiting for more answers that will have to wait until the next film.
One of the frustrating things of the film was once Thomas and his friends from the Glade are on their quest of finding the “right arm,” or the resistance, there is no definite destination. This could be understandable as it gives a suspense of doubt for their survival, but in actual fact, this is what most of the film is. It would make the world a lot easier if it was kept simple and the original questions from The Maze Runner were answered, even if they weren’t fully, before introducing more characters and more information.
With all this new information and characters being introduced, it leaves little time for the characters we already know to develop. So the film ended up having to pick only Thomas, who seemed to have the most characterisation, and Teresa, who had some sort of development but was still stagnant, to develop.
What was a nice surprise in the film was a cameo from Alan Tudyk (fromFirefly fame as well as I, Robot, Wreck It Wralph, and the British, and better version, of Death At A Funeral). Basically, if you haven’t noticed, I’m a fan of his. And even though he only had a small part in The Scorch Trials, and looked a little strange with “guyliner,” he portrayed his creepy character of Marcus well. And it’s just a shame he wasn’t credit on IMDb for it.
In spite of the new environment, the film still manages to bring something exciting to these worlds and leaves us waiting for the next instalment.