MAZE RUNNER – THE SCORCH TRIALS – REVIEW

After a successful first instalment, we join the Gladers again picking up right where we left off in Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials. With the first Maze Runner film coming out only 12 months ago, it seems that the studio is keen to get these movies out before people lose interest.

So is it any good? YESJust over a year ago, the studio decided that they would green light this sequel two weeks before the film was released. Originally they had a “wait and see” policy in place, making sure they wouldn’t be losing money on another Hunger Games type flick. Luckily for them, the movie went on to make many millions more than they initially spent meaning the sequel was already in development by the time it hit cinemas.

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It’s hard to compare the two movies though, as The Scorch Trials definitely changes the pace and mood significantly after the first act. The film starts exactly where the first finished – After being helicoptered out after escaping the maze, we join the team as they land at giant building in the middle ofthe desert, while being chased inside by what can only be described as zombies. Once inside, the team is treated to showers, beds, food and much needed health check-ups after spending time in the maze. Our lead character, Thomas (Dylan O’Brien) becomes suspicious after his many questions are met with hostility. Thomas convinces his fellow Gladers that it would be in their best interest to attempt to make it on their own and not with this mysterious group that rescued them from WCKD, the organisation that placed them in the maze. The team quickly realise that they have just potentially given up a comfortable life for a desolate world filled with people infected with “The Flare.” Thanks to Fox, we have a quick explanation of what that is.

Basically, the movie gets awesome as soon as they leave the compound, becoming a dark, action packed zombie movie, with the added bonus of having WCKD also hot on their heels. The infected are comparable to 28 Days Later, I Am Legend, or World War Z, that they’re fast, scary and relentless. The pace of the movie is great, it is non-stop for almost the entire film with only a few small stops for some character building, and much needed rest for the characters as well as the audience. The whole scope of the movie feels much larger, with a bigger budget and a lot of new characters played by familiar faces including Aidan Gillen (Game Of Thrones), Giancarlo Esposito (Breaking Bad), and Barry Pepper (Saving Private Ryan) just to name a few.

While the run time feels a little bit too long, I understand that it’s because the studio has decided not to split the final film into two, and so they needed to get a little bit more of story out of the way in this film. While most would compare or categorize this movie with The Hunger Games or the Divergent series, this second outing for the Maze Runners definitely sets it apart from any of those films. This is not your average Kids Vs. Evil corporation movie any more, and although not everyone agrees, I think this is one of those sequels that outdoes it’s predecessor in just about every way.

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Maze Runner – The Scorch Trials is in cinemas September 10

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