Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials Review
Yet more running in this latest Young Adult adaptation
Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials catches up with the Gladers upon their rescue by the Rebels.For a quick recap on the Maze Runner story, the Gladers have escaped the maze built by the WCKD and been “rescued” by the Rebels and taken to safety, where they find even more teens who have been in mazes similar to theirs. Told they’re off to a better, more normal life, a selection of the teens are taken away daily. Thomas (Dylan O’Brien), the Gladers’ leader, is hesitant to believe the sugary sweetness of this deal, and with help from newcomer Aris (Jacob Lofland), the pair begin to investigate.They discover that the teens being selected aren’t actually going anywhere. Once our heroes realise this the main plot kicks off, with the Gladers going on the run into the Scorch, essentially the desert wasteland that has become Planet Earth. WCKD is in hot pursuit through the entire film, needing the Gladers and those who are immune to the virus. And as memories resurface from their past lives, divisions within the group do as well. People run, and some are hurt. Some will even die.
There’s very little to recommend this film other than the camerawork and special effects used. The writing is cliched, the phrases “Follow Me” and “Hurry up” are a dime a dozen, and the ghastly number of shocked, screwed-up faces is just tired. Nobody’s acting is special. I don’t particularly see any standout talent. Janson (Aidan Gillen, Game of Thrones’ Petyr Baelish) brings the creepy, “up to no good” element, but he’s so intent on trying to do an American accent that he fails to seem like a plausible, calculating WCKD henchman. Knowing what he can do just makes the performance that much worse.
This film is good for diversity quotas, global audiences, angsty, misunderstood teens, zombie-film addicts, and makin’ dough!
Full disclosure, I have not read the books. Often, these films have a hard time doing justice to a written story, simply because for every person who reads the books, there is a different aesthetic and a different pacing to the story. My qualifications are geared towards film and its representations. Sadly, The Scorch Trials misses the mark for me. There’s no doubt the camera work is excellent, the fight scenes are certainly badass, and the Cranks are a marvelous piece of CGI. Those are the most redeeming qualities of the film and the reason I gave it even four out of ten.
What I will tell you is this film is good for several things: diversity quotas, global audiences, angsty, misunderstood teens, zombie-film addicts, and makin’ that dough.
See this film for what it is: a Hollywood cash cow. I wouldn’t recommend falling for it.
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