Maze Runner 2: The Scorch Trials

maze-runner-2-scorch-trials-poaster posterMaze Runner 2: The Scorch Trials (2015), Rated PG-13
Starring Dylan O’Brien, Kaya Scodelario Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Giancarlo Esposito, Aidan Gillen, Ki Hong Lee, Barry pepper, Lili Taylor, Patricia Clarkson
Directed by Wes Ball
Review by Xavier Emaka
Rating two stars

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Once you see this movie you are definitely going to have some questions, the primary of which will most likely be where were the mazes?

The cast is features returnees Aidan Gillen, Nathalie Emmanuel and Alan Tudyk. The prequel ended with the characters having broken out of the maze only to discover that everything, including their escape, was planned for.

Maze Runner 2: the Scorch Trials starts of right The Maze Runner left off. The group is in a camp where they soon learn they weren’t the only ones who were in a maze. More information is provided on who created the mazes and why. Thomas notices something is not right and through his own investigation discovers that they’re to be experimented on as they are some of the few who are immune to the virus that wiped out most of humanity. Thomas and his group immediately make a successful attempt to escape. They had been warned, however, that outside the camp is brutal, and they quickly walk into a sand storm and run into infected people. Their only hope is to make it to the resistance.

The cinematography is well done. Once more Wes Ball delivers. Unfortunately, those viewers looking to see the book brought to the screen are going to be disappointed. So much has been removed it can’t even be considered an adaptation. In the books the company holding them, WCKD, has influence over the Glader’s minds, but in both The Maze Runner and Scorch Trials, this influence is not seen. They also failed to highlight the telepathic relationship that some of the Gladers had.

On its plus side, other members of the group do get to stand out, saving it from the trap of turning Thomas into a Marty Stu once more. I found the pacing slow, with the action scenes too far apart. However, the regions that they visit provide a visual treat. One has to wonder why WCKD claimed that they can’t make it in the heat if there are so many remote places with people living in them.

I didn’t appreciate how the movie veered away from the book. While it might make a good movie for somebody who hasn’t read the books, those who have will find too many differences. The desert is supposed to be a wasteland where nobody can last for more than a few minutes. The Gladers walk through it without issue. It’s also no longer a trial as mentioned in the title. WCKD is no longer in charge of them and the plot has been dumbed-down to good guys versus bad. WCKD wasn’t meant to be some evil entity bent on destroying the lives of children for no reason.

I can recommended this to younger teen viewers. However, if you read the book and are looking to see it brought to the screen, you might be disappointed.

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