Movie Review: ‘Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials’




“Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials” is nothing more than a compilation of scenes that seem to be taken from countless other movies and series. Whether it is “The Walking Dead,” “World War Z” or “The Hunger Games,” it is not hard to spot the resemblance.

After the mild success of the first film, “The Maze Runner,” , the gang is all back together as they continue to try to take down the evil corporation known as “Wicked.” Led by an overzealous doctor dressed in all white, the paramilitary turned bio-med researchers are hell-bent on finding a cure to a ravenous plague, no matter the cost to human life.

The film is its own tragedy:

Scenes were far too drawn out; elements seemed awkwardly conjoined together to advance the plot, and at the end of it all, you were left with an easily predicted cliffhanger but not the slightest sense of closure.
The film featured far too many unreasonable elements for it to be accepted as a vaguely realistic premise, even within its post-apocalyptic framework.

For instance, all the clothes and shoes seem to fit perfectly despite being found in an abandoned mall that is hit with sand storms nightly. Not only do they fit, but all of the clothes also seem to be very fashionable and complement the character’s physique in an appealing way. Hmm, odd– but moving on.

The group of teens also somehow seem to find backpacks equipped with supplies to survive in the desert in the abandoned mall that diseased zombies have occupied for the past few decades. Right.

In addition to being grounded in the glitz and glam of Hollywood, the characters encounter circumstances that are questionable at best.

Great films spark a conversation between various viewpoints, yet “Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials” incessantly interrupts this experience and forces the viewer to grapple with the plausibility of what is going on. This never-ending mind game detracts from the experience at hand and prevents the audience from becoming enthralled in the adventure of it all.

The greatest big-screen flicks are supposed to make the audience feel something. Just about any strong emotion in the book can be considered a success for the filmmaker, that is, with the exception of frustration, and this film is chock-full of it.

After a few scenes, it begins to feel as though the only reason that the main characters are alive is so that they can survive until the end of the movie so that filmmakers can make a third one.

Even if a film is not grounded in reality, this should not allow its characters to forgo every law of nature. Sadly, this film tries to do just that.

A paradox exists within the plot in that the group seems to make all the classic movie mistakes, yet somehow always makes it out alive.

Knowing that the protagonist, or worse, the entire cast, is going to end up making it out alive, despite how perilous hisjourney will be, is a very depressing realization to come to in the middle of a film.

From “let’s split up so we can cover more ground,” to just plain idiotic script choices, the film shows behavior that the viewers constantly critique the choices of the characters instead of becoming enthralled in the adventure of it all.

The group of teens seems to lack simple common sense and memory of past mistakes, which is fine, but they shouldn’t prosper because of it. The filmmakers have to choose a path– act intelligently and live or behave stupidly and perish– yet they go the entire film swerving between the two.

If the viewer does not think there is a chance he will lose his favorite character, there is no reason to feel for the characters. This uneventful dynamic prevents the audience from becoming emotionally invested in the fate of the characters, which is a major setback for the entire film.

There is one high point roughly 80 percent of the way through the film, where the characters finally win over the audience’s emotions.

The chemistry of the cast, especially the genuine nature of the supporting cast, is this film’s redeeming quality.

If you haven’t seen the first, do not see the second. If you didn’t like the first, do not expect anything better.

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