This The Scorch Trials review is written for those who have read James Dashner’s Maze Runner Trilogy. If you don’t mind spoilers then, by all means, read ahead:
I must say this one felt like it ran on a lot longer than the first film, but Wes Ball does a good job of making sure there aren’t too many lulls in the movie. However by the end of it, the whole film winds up feeling like a futile race to an uncertain destination. Much like the journey had by our protagonists.
Having escaped the maze in the first film, our remaining ‘Gladers’ must face new challenges and obstacles in the open roads/deserts of a dystopian landscape where the world has been ravaged by the Scorch (climate change on crack) and most humans have been infected with an illness called the Flare where people become violent and zombie-like. Ball threw in some sudden pop ups to make sure the audience doesn’t fall asleep, there are some creepy dark room scenes in seedy abandoned living areas now occupied by zombie-like cranks.
Things happen rather differently from the book, but we reach the same point by the end of the film that we reach at the end of the book, mostly anyway. There are some things that have been omitted, probably for clarity and ease of storytelling. They’ve done away with the tattoos that tell everyone their roles as well as the continued experiments by W.C.K.D.
Teresa and the betrayal. While the little that Thomas is beginning to remember makes him feel guilty and uneasy about his former involvement with W.C.K.D, Teresa’s memories seem to inform her reasons for her betrayal at the end of the episode. Something you almost see coming, they drop a few hints in the film for those who haven’t read the books. A lot of hints, faraway stares, not meeting intense stares-
We meet Brenda, she’s a better character than I remember from the books. Physically strong, it would seem, with a sad backstory and a no nonsense attitude that’s required to survive. Jorge is well casted and written, a good father-figure to Brenda and calling everyone ‘hermano’ to avoid learning names.
There were less awkward laughs and less Minho. There needed to be more Minho. There always needs to be more Minho.
Visually it’s great, the landscape is pretty epic and a bit scary. The casting was brilliant, everyone worked well together.
I’m glad they made Janson every bit as crazy as his book counterpart.
The film comes out in NZ cinemas this Thursday, 10th of September.
Check out the trailer below: