In the sequel to last year’s surprisingly entertaining The Maze Runner, there’s no more maze, but still lots of running.
Entitled The Scorch Trials, the film opens with Thomas and his friends – newly escaped from the maze and, apparently, the mysterious organisation known as WICKED – finding sanctuary within the walls of a millitary compound, belonging to those who saved them from the maze.
However, it doesn’t take long until Thomas begins to grow suspicious of their new hosts and encourages his friends to escape into the desert wasteland known as the scorch. Pursued by WICKED, they must try to survive the environment, as well as avoid the deadly creatures known as Cranks – zombies to me and you – whilst trying to find a rebel group who can lead them to safety.
If it all sounds very complicated, it’s because it is – even for somebody who has seen the first film. Herein lies one of the main flaws – and it is flawed – in The Scorch Trials; an overly convoluted plot that asks more questions before really answering any from the first film.
At times, there’s just too much going on and Scorch Trials suffers compared to the contained narrative of its predecessor. With a sequel to set up as well, the fact that there’s no real ending could test the patience of the majority of filmgoers – the dreaded curse of the middle film in a trilogy.
Much like the first film, Scorch Trials also has problems with deciding whether for an adaptation of a YA (Young Adult) novel, it should play more towards the young or the adult. There was a lot of talk surrounding the release of The Maze Runner concerning its hard 12a rating, which was cut down from a 15, and the same applies with this instalment.
With some bad language and a few truly tense and terrifying sequences involving the Cranks – zombies – Scorch Trials seems on the brink of a 15; so parents beware. The constant change of tone makes it difficult to fully settle in to the film and I can’t help but wonder if a higher rating would better suit the franchise.
All this said, despite its flaws I actually found Scorch Trials to be a lot of fun; perhaps against my better judgement. It’s by no means perfect, but there are moments through it that had me on the edge of the seat.
It scared and thrilled me, impressed me with its post-apocalyptic visuals and kept me engaged from beginning to end. I like the big ideas at the centre of the story too, even though they may not always be perfectly executed.
Running at twenty minutes too long on top of its other flaws, Maze Runner: Scorch Trials has a lot of problems, but still remains an entertaining watch. On a whole, I’d say it’s bigger and slit lay better than the original film and its ending has left me wanting more. Let’s just hope it has a good pay off.
Image credit to http://www.comingsoon.com