Thursday, June 2, 2016

Movie review: Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials

Thomas and the Gladers, having escaped the Maze in the original film, find themselves again pitted against WCKD. Traversing the Scorch, a wasteland devastated by solar flares, they team up with resistance fighters and discover WCKD may have more sinister plans than they ever imagined.

Dylan O'Brien (Thomas), Ki Hong Lee (Minho), Kaya Scodelario (Teresa), Thomas Brodie-Sangster (Newt), Dexter Darden (Frypan), Alexander Flores (Winston), Jacob Lofland (Aris), Rosa Salazar (Brenda), Giancarlo Esposito (Jorge), Patricia Clarkson (Ava Paige).

Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials picks up where the original film left off with Thomas and the Gladers now free of the Maze and in search of a safe haven. Hoping to team up with the resistance group Right Arm, they search the Scorch and quickly realize WCKD is still after them and fighting back is the only option. But when WCKD's plans are revealed fighting back quickly turns to fighting for life. Sadly, all of this sounds better than it actually is. The storyline really has nothing to do with the original film aside from the characters and the thin plot is much less entertaining than it sounds.

Acting was decent but obviously hampered by the poor plot and lack of character development. O'Brien delivered solidly once again. Scodelario felt flat and largely without depth or emotion, though that may have been due to direction. Sangster once again felt mature for his role but delivered well. Lee, Darden, Flores and the other Gladers did well. Esposito and Clarkson fit their roles nicely and delivered well.

Camera work, sets, and backgrounds were nicely done and the film appears to have had a big budget. CGI, effects, and action scenes were well done with good detail and a solid feel. The infected were enjoyable with good costuming and effects which created a nice impact. Dialogue was okay but could have helped the story and character development much more. Sound and soundtrack are good.

Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials is a decent Sci-Fi Action flick by itself, but unfortunately it doesn't do a thing for the franchise. The plot is largely unrelated to the original film leaving this one looking a lot like a cookie-cutter post-apocalyptic action film. We ended up wishing the zombie aspect would have had more focus. At least then it could be called a zombie flick.

With foul language, violence, gore, and potentially disturbing images this should be fine for teens and above.

Released: 2015
Reviewed: 6.1.16
Star rating: 2 out of 5
Genre: Sci-Fi Action, Sci-Fi Fantasy, Sci-Fi Thrillers, Post apocalyptic films, Zombie films

copyright ©2016 Dave Riedel


Zach Murphy said...

I agree about the poor plot and lack of character development here. I just didn't care about anything taking place on screen.

Good review.

- Zach (

Doc said...

Thanks Zach, it really was a disappointment compared to the first film, which I did enjoy. I'll hope the next one is better.


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