The Scorch Trials picks up where the Maze Runner left off – Thomas (Dylan O’Brien) and the other Gladers have been picked up by an unknown group of rescuers and are being taken to a supposed “safe-haven”. Once at this “safe-haven”, Thomas continues to question what he’s being told even though everyone else seems comfortable trusting Janson, the man who’s in charge (why anyone would feel comfortable trusting a character played by Aidan Gillen, is beyond me…). When Thomas’ suspicions turn out to be correct, the Gladers set out to find a place that is not in the control of WCKD.
That is really all I can tell you about the movie without spoiling it. This film basically runs off the information that the viewer doesn’t know and I wouldn’t want to ruin it for you.
As with the first movie, I really like the concept of The Maze Runner. It has some really refreshing elements that make it stand out from The Hunger Games and Divergent. I love that the main character is a boy, that romance is mostly on the back burner, and the unique likeness to Lord of the Flies or Peter Pan’s Lost Boys.
However, the development of this concept kinda fell flat on its face.
The story runs off this suspense factor that keeps us in the dark until we finally learn what’s going on at the end of The Scorch Trials. Unfortunately, there were not enough side plots to carry us blind through 3 hours and 40 minutes (the total time of both movies that we are kept in the absolute dark) of running away from monsters.
I also felt like this second film took a very generic turn. There are a lot of movies that follow these same patterns – they may not be “teen dystopian” films, but they still fill a pretty big part of the movie industry.
Aside from the suspense factor dragging on for way too long, the characters are all pretty flat – Thomas and Teresa maybe being the only exceptions. Maybe. After escaping the maze, nobody seems concerned about getting their memories back. Nobody talks about where they think their families are, and nobody asks any of the right questions. They, for the majority of the time, very quick to just go along with whatever is currently the status qou. Their only motive is not dying – not a lot of character depth to work with there.
I also was a bit confused by the editing choices. There are a couple different scenes where the characters are running in a life or death situation and then we cut to the next scene where the characters have escaped somehow.
The only thing I’d like to mention about the content was the extremely random party that Thomas and Brenda end up at. They both drink something that seems like a very strong alcohol and start hallucinating while all the weirdo people at the party are doing their weird things. I have no idea why that happened – it only added to the feeling that the movie was dragging on.
It’s really too bad that these movies weren’t done better than this.
2 Out Of 5 Popcorn Buckets (Which for MoviePilot peeps, translates to 4/10 stars)