Film Review: The friends may have escaped the maze, but they’re still on the run in ‘The Maze Runner: Scorch Trials’

Juston Nees, Staff Writer

As the sequel to the MTV Movie Award winning and overall amazing film “The Maze Runner,” “The Maze Runner: Scorch Trials” pales in comparison to the first installment in the series. Since “The Maze Runner” is such a hard act to follow, it set very high expectations for this sequel. The amazing performances by the lead actors, most notably Dylan O’Brien, make the film bearable.

Picking up from the cliffhanger where viewers were left at the end of “The Maze Runner,” Thomas (played by Dylan O’Brien) is awoken from nightmares by his friends on a helicopter telling him they have to leave now. Disoriented, Thomas leaves the helicopter, and they seem to be in a safe haven away from the government organization WCKD.

Thomas is always questioning authority, and “The Scorch Trials” follows Thomas and his group of friends as they constantly flee to safety. This lengthy movie maintains a stressful mood that will keep your adrenaline pumping for the entire movie. The movies follows the pattern of nonstop action and, like most movies with this pattern, it fails to work. The constant suspense and chasing makes the movie feel rushed as if they were running, metaphorically, over 10 little hills with 10 climactic moments rather than one giant hill. This leaves the viewers without any time to analyze what had just happened, or to catch their breath.

The actors all play their parts incredibly well, most notably Dylan O’Brien. The script that they were dealing with is shallow and allows for little to no character development. The intensive character development and relationship between characters is exactly what made the first movie good. “The Scorch Trials” lacks this and instead focuses on action, which is what makes the movie less interesting. Viewers feel no ties to the characters and, combined with the ridiculous predictability of the plot, leads to the audience checking the time frequently.

This film has great actors, an absolutely breathtaking set, an obviously large budget, great costumes, and all the bells and whistles, yet it is all held back by the script. The script feels way too rushed and almost corny. The group of characters already accomplishes a task within the first 15-20 minutes of the movie, and they just kept going without problem. They successfully analyze their facility, discover the truth, and break out within the first twenty minutes. The script feels very rushed, as if the characters are constantly running and never have time to focus on the direction of the film or establish emotional connections.

The use of the camera angles is spectacular, and they are enhanced by dramatic closeups that keeps viewers on the edge of their seats. They give great perspective and never got shaky or hard to watch. They have a very smooth, polished, and dramatic personality to them, which makes the film easy to watch while still maintaining the suspense.

Since so many events happen during the movie, it all feels like a blur. While some movies are very memorable and leave a lasting impression, “The Maze Runner Scorch Trials” leaves viewers still trying to comprehend the situation at hand and constantly playing catch up. It is a good action movie, but this movie has nothing spectacular that will make it stick in your mind and make you rant about it to friends.

Even though “The Scorch Trials” has large problems with character development and a shallow script; overall, the movie is watchable if you’re bored on a Sunday and this conveniently appears on the Netflix featured slide, but is not worth the money spent by going to the movies.

Our grade: C
“The Maze Runner: Scorch Trials”
Length: 131 min
Genre: Action,Adventure
Directed by: Wes Ball
Starring: Dylan O’Brien, Ki Hong Lee, Kaya Scodelario, Thomas Brodie-Sangster