‘Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials’ is lukewarm at best

Sept. 21, 2015

Alexander Nedd
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Rating: 3/5 stars

Once you finish watching this film you will be left with two questions: How the hell are these kids still alive, and what is their fitness routine?

“Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials,” the latest installment in the series, blazed into theaters with the hope to compete as one of the years most anticipated sequels. But as entertaining as the film tries to be, it ultimately never reaches this goal and leaves you questioning your expectations.

The film starts with the backstory of protagonist Thomas (Dylan O’Brian) before we meet him and the rest of the gang who have just escaped “The Glade” from the first film and are adapting to their new lives.

But don’t expect a recap from the first film; the second movie helps the pace but can be annoying for the casual viewer if you don’t remember key events.

Going with his gut feeling and natural curiosity, Thomas begins to challenge the people who claim they are there to help him in a testing compound for survivors out of various mazes.

He’s right, and he leads his team on a harrowing escape out of the facility after saving Theresa (Kaya Scodolario) from bad circumstances.

Once free from the test center, Thomas and the group set out on the worst trip of their lives, and that’s after leaving the maze.

What follows is absolute mayhem and running.

If it can chase or kill you, this group was only one foot ahead of it the entire film. The films biggest heart stoppers are when the Gladers face the “Cranks,” zombies that have become victims of a worldwide virus.

The film acts as a mixture of AMC’s critically acclaimed series “The Walking Dead” and the mega Blockbuster hit “The Hunger Games,” but never reaches the same success or interest as the other two.

From the incredible series written by James Dashner, the problem within the second “Maze Runner” is that you are given too much information.

The story compliments the film if you have read the books beforehand. But those that haven’t are in for a wild, at times confusing, ride.

Visually, the world is stunning, and the soundtrack offers excitement as you race from one certain doom to the next. As in the first film, there are deaths that are tear jerkers, cushioned only by the fiction of the film. A mixture of new characters are added, which help branch out the cast from Thomas.

The film does make up for its confusing storyline with an awesome climatic scene and a twist that’s just as jaw dropping as those who have read the story expect it to be. But resolution will have to wait for the next film.

“The Scorch Trials” captures the innovative theme from the first film, but leaves more to be desired.

The series cinematically is halfway complete, with two films done out of four books. The five part series hasn’t been completed by the author yet.

Hopefully, they continue to improve, or this series runs the risk of being scorched entirely.