The Scorch Trials, the next chapter of the epic “Maze Runner” series, is an adventurous, action-filled thriller that will surely keep you on the edge of your seats, however, the thrill may still disappoint. Written by James Dashner and directed by Wes Ball, this Sci-fi film features a group of teens (Gladers) that after having to escape the Maze, later find themselves making their way across the Scorch, a desolate landscape filled with multiple obstacles.
The film starts right off from the last movie with the group of teenagers being transported from the Maze by some unknown organization. When they arrive at the remote, fortified outpost, Thomas and his fellow friends find themselves in trouble after uncovering a diabolical plot from the powerful organization World In Catastrophe: Killzone Department (WCKD). Next, the Gladers find themselves staging a daring escape into the Scorch, infested with dangerous obstacles and zombie-like virus-infected Cranks. These teens spend the rest of the film hoping to find the Right Hand, a group of resistance fighters who may be able to help them battle WCKD. While watching this film, you will never find yourself bored as it is full of excitement and suspense.
Even though the film was action-packed, it still seems to lack a sense of originality. It seems to be almost the same as any post-apocalyptic zombie movie. Looking more in depth, the film can’t manage to show the backstory concerning the catastrophic deterioration of earth. The origin of the spread of this deadly virus is very vague and leaves the viewers with many questions. The Scorch Trials also offers essentially no character development and only provides hints of plot advancement. The movie contains a group of mildly motivated characters who move from one place to another without giving much idea of where the plot is going. The hero from part one, Thomas (Dylan O'Brien), remains the quietly courageous leader in part two. He does not develop much personality along the way and it almost seems as if he is hiding away his emotions. Towards the beginning of the film, Thomas says, "There's something inside of us that WCKD wants. It's why we can't let them find us. You guys don't have to come with me, but I know we can make it." This quote shows his heroic personality, but this looks to be the only characteristc Thomas conveys throught the movie. Teresa (Kaya Scodelario), another key character who originated from the first chapter, appears to be quite remote and distracted throughout the film. From intense music, different camera angles, and unique dialogue, Wes Ball attempts to add diversity by incorporating techniques such as horror, thriller, and drama into one film. However from watching, one can tell that these don’t really all go together too well, which actually takes away from the film as a whole.
The first “Maze Runner” at least managed to build a believable plot containing teenagers who worked together after being confronted with a mysterious obstacle. In The Scorch Trials, there isn’t any real sense of group dynamics. If you are the type of audience that wants to see a dramatic and stimulating film, then The Scorch Trials is probably for you. However, if you are looking for a movie that is substantially detailed, meaningful, and great in all criteria, then maybe not. Even though this film did not quite live up to the same level as the first, it’s still a fun watch that is well worth your time.