Having escaped from the Maze, Thomas and his fellow Gladers are faced with a new challenge; the desolate, post apocalyptic landscape where everything and everyone is a threat.
2014's The Maze Runner was unfortunately one of the biggest disappointments of last year for me, I really did not enjoy that film, so coming into a sequel I had little to no interest. And whilst The Scorch Trials isn't one of the most impressive blockbusters of the year, it's certainly an improvement over its predecessor.
Dylan O'Brien again does an excellent job of leading the film, I thought he was a standout in the first film and he is again here. We learn more about the character of Thomas (O'Brien) as he starts to regain some of his memory; why he was put into the Maze and where he's come from.
As it stands, there isn't much about The Scorch Trials that separates it from the bunch of other dystopian future book to film adaptations other than it's not as interesting as The Hunger Games and not as boring as the Divergent Series. What made the first Maze Runner different was the aspect of the Maze, a big mechanical formation in which our characters traverse to find a way out, I at least thought that was a fun concept. With the sequel however, it's just our characters exploring a post apocalyptic wasteland, and in 2015, it's nothing we've not seen before, but somehow it's a lot more entertaining than the first film. The first film was fine up until it's climax which was just a blatant set up for a sequel and I hated it, The Scorch Trials feels less like a set up and more like a step in the right direction.
Thomas and the Gladers have been taken in by a mysterious group who seem to be experimenting on Maze escapees, when they escape the complex which turns out to be more of a prison, they're forced to fight for survival out in The Scorch. A sandy, stormy landscape in which society has crumbled and the infected roam. The first film's enemy; The Grievers didn't ever impress me purely because of their poor design, they looked incredibly cartoonish. In The Scorch Trials, a zombie like horde are put against the Gladers and they worked much more effectively. They're design was quite scary and the visual effects used were impressive.
On their journey through the Scorch, the Gladers cross paths with a group of rebels lead by Jorge played by the brilliant Giancarlo Esposito (Breaking Bad) and they all set off on a mission to find The Right Arm, a group of resistance fighters who reside in the mountains. The story for The Scorch Trials isn't terribly exciting or even gripping, it certainly does feel like the middle chapter in the story and is simply bridging the gap from the first to final film but it is well put together for the most part. The script and story are filled with plot conveniences and cliches but it's never really boring, there's a good pace and a good amount of action to keep you entertained. Like the first film, I'm still not invested in the characters or the story they're in, hopefully the next film can grip me a bit more.
Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials isn't essential viewing, but if you're a fan of the books or the previous film and have an interest in seeing the follow up, this is not wholly original but is an entertaining sci-fi action film.
Have you seen Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials? If so, let me know what you thought of the movie in the comments or on Twitter @JamesPorter97