Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials



2 (out of 4 stars)


Here we go.  Another sequel to a teenage action movie.  The original Maze Runner (2014) was apparently enough of a success to warrant a sequel, maybe a flagpole (multiple sequels) and possibly even a tent-pole (a successful series that would spin off many other similar films).


It seems these movies have several things in common:  A young cast, a male hero, a female in distress, and a bad guy.  Now that I think of it, it sounds just like Twilight, Hunger Games… you get the idea. 


Unlike the first movie which started out with our young hero appearing in an elevator and thrust upwards towards an outdoor camp known as the "Glade”, this version starts with the rescue of the "Gladers" who escaped through the maze and are brought to the protective shelter of a compound controlled by the mysterious and powerful organization known as "WCKD".  OK, a little background:  The Glade was surrounded by a maze (the only way you could escape was by running through the maze to the outside world before the doors would close and seal you into the darkness that lies within, hence the name “Maze Runner”).  You learn something new every day from me, don’t you?


Fearing that something is wrong inside the WCKD compound (“people go into a room, but don’t come out”), the Glader’s escape the WCKD compound and venture outside where they are met by a brutal environment and sub-humans known as “Cranks”.  Cranks are basically a rip-off of the vampires in the TV show, “The Strain”. I guess the Cranks are either trying to eat them or turn them into other cranks by transferring a deadly virus that has no cure.  No wonder why the cranks are a bit “Cranky”!  LOL.  Sorry, I just couldn’t help myself.


Back to our Gladers.  Outside in the “Scorched Trials” (hence the name of this movie), they try to reach the resistance army known as the Right Wing (WCKD’s opposition) as they traverse the dangerous terrain, which basically is the same destroyed city we've seen in every other movie.  In fact, it looks like the destroyed city they left behind in WALL-E, the desolate desert in Mad Max, and the collapsing buildings we’ve seen in Transformers and other similar movies. 


So now that we understand where we've come from and where we’re going, you must've figured out by now that this movie leaves you up in the air.  You will be waiting to spend your money on another sequel, just like the other movies already mentioned.  The major difference between this movie and the original Maze Runner is that you learn why things are happening, instead of being left out in the dark with no explanation, whatsoever.  That makes the movie a little more pleasing, especially when you understand why you're watching this film. 


I enjoyed this movie.  Even though it was very predictable and a little too long, it still had some great action scenes, wonderful CG, and some good performances.  This movie has one of my favorite actors, Barry Pepper, who plays Vince, member of the resistance who “peppers” (Sorry, again for the pun, I just can’t help myself) WCKD with a 50-caliber machine gun during the big fight scene.  This movie is not going to be in my top 10 for sure, but if you got nothing to do over the weekend and you're really not interested in watching some family drama or bad horror movie, then this is a good alternative.  And if you're a teenager, you'll like this movie even more, since it doesn't require a whole lot of brain cells.  So if you're stoned, high on drugs or medical marijuana that you've taken from your parents’ stash, then by all means, go to your local theater and enjoy the film.  There are worse alternatives such as skydiving without a parachute, or having a picnic on a train track.  Catch my drift?