Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials

I enjoyed The Maze Runner more than most young adult novel film adaptations. The mystery of the maze was intriguing, and the characters weren’t the typical stereotypes you see associated with the genre. I was interested to see where the series would go next. After Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials, I’m no longer as interested.


The Scorch Trials continues from where the first film left off with Thomas (Dylan O’Brien) and the remaining Gladers being rescued from the maze and taken to a safe haven run by Mr. Janson (Aidan Gillen). The group finds out that they weren’t the only ones trapped inside a maze as other kids from other mazes have found their way to Janson’s safe haven as well. Still, despite the place having food and shelter Thomas begins to suspect something is up due to how secretive Janson and his employees are acting. With the help of Aris (Jacob Lofland), a boy who’s been there the longest, he discovers that Janson is working for WICKED, the same group of people responsible for putting him in the maze to begin with. Once again, Thomas and his friends find themselves running for their lives, only this time it’s not a maze they’re trying to escape.


It’s no surprise that running is the main theme of The Maze Runner franchise since it’s part of the title itself. The majority of The Scorch Trials has Thomas and company running from just about everything. They’re running from WICKED. They’re running from these zombie-like creatures called Cranks. They’re running for the majority of the film, and unfortunately it does a bad job at explaining why. The film is very vague about what’s going on, barely hinting at why these kids are so special to WICKED and what the company’s ultimate goal is. I was hoping it would answer many of the questions I had at the end of The Maze Runner, but unfortunately I just have more.


While the film’s plot remains vaguely thin, the action remains strong. The Cranks, who are a result of being infected Flare virus, are terrifying when they’re first introduced, much like the Grievers of the first film. The scene where they escape from them in an abandoned mall is very Dawn of the Dead.


Another aspect of The Scorch Trials I thought was well done is Thomas and Teresa’s (Kaya Scodelario) relationship. Like the first film, there’s this bond the two share, but there’s nothing romantic about it. Think more along the lines of brother and sister. It becomes even more complex as the story throws wrench between the two that has me curious to see how things will turn out in the inevitable third film.


That’s the thing about The Maze Runner franchise; the intrigue keeps you coming back for more. The action really ramps up by the third act and things finally start to make some sense, but by that time the film’s basically over. It’s the point in the story where they finally decide to stop running and fight back. It’s good to see the film end on a high note, but Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials finds its direction a little too late in the game.

Matt Rodriguez
Review by Matt Rodriguez
Follow him @ Twitter
Friend him @ Facebook