Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials (2015)
Starring: Dylan O’Brien, Kaya Scodelario, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Ki Hong Lee, Dexter Darden, Giancarlo Esposito, Patricia Clarkson, Aidan Gillen, Barry Pepper
Directed By: Wes Ball
Written By: T.S. Nowlin
Rating: PG-13 (US) Running Time: 2 hr 11 min
I honestly think the wheels are coming off the dystopian teen-fiction bus. And judging by what I saw in Scorch Trials, and the disastrous Insurgent earlier this year, this might be a good thing.
In The Maze Runner, we had an intriguing premise, carefully constructed and nicely performed by its talented young cast. It wasn’t ground-breaking or fresh, but it was a solid entertaining time at the movie theater. Delivering its twists in a nicely paced manner to keep the audience thirsty for more juicy dystopian fun in the future.
Well folks, the future is here, and it’s unfortunately not that bright. Scorch Trials has very little to say.
What was an interesting sci-fi mystery, has now disintegrated into a boring chase. Loaded with scenes where all our intrepid heroes have to do is run away from things. While repeatedly yelling at each other to ‘go go go’, ‘keep moving’, ‘come on’ and ‘we gotta go!’ Etc etc, repeat ad nauseam.
As for revelations in the plot, there are few, and are mostly delivered during the first act. Leaving two full sections of this movie to wade through, and that time isn’t used to develop characters that we might actually care about, as this series heads towards a conclusion. Which I hear, will not force James Dashner’s last book in the series, The Death Cure, into two films. Phew!
Only take this movie on if you have seen The Maze Runner. It won’t make any sense otherwise. Scorch Trials is rated PG-13 so the violence is muted. There are however, some scenes involving ‘zombie’ like creatures that could be a little too intense for younger viewers.
Scorch Trials production design is first-rate, and this film will work best on a theater screen. A lot of the action and visuals just won’t look good on a laptop, tablet or phone.
Best Moment: << spoiler! >>
A member of the gang gets infected, and asks that he have a gun to end his life. And while we’ve seen this kind of scene in movies plenty of times, I thought the final shot of our kids walking across the sand as we hear the gun go off – was nicely done.