Maze Runner isn’t exactly what I would consider to be a good movie, but it sold well enough to warrant a continuation of the franchise on the big screen. Because of that, we have Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials. It wasn’t something that interested me, but I was willing to give it a chance since it is actually moving into a different direction that could create more action and leave less room for boredom.
Picking up where the first film left off, Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials reintroduces us to Thomas (Dylan O’Brien) as he’s just getting off of the island along with the other Gladers who escaped the deadly clutches of the maze. After surviving, they now find themselves in a new predicament that leads them into what’s known as The Scorch, a vast land that’s been forsaken by seemingly everything imaginable. If they thought attempting to get out of the maze was could be fatal, they’re about to find out that their new tasks will be even more dangerous.
What’s positive about Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials is the action. These scenes and set pieces keep the entire movie alive as it’s the only feature that really does a consistent job of holding your interest. Through most of it, there’s an extremely fast pace that can certainly be appreciated for people in need for a bit of speed to go with their action.
Since I don’t want to spoil it for people who don’t know what to expect going in, I’ll only tell you that the other ways some of this action is delivered is also done in a way that will remind you of other films featuring a great deal of running and escaping. Some of this pops up out of nowhere in order to set off some very entertaining spots for its viewers.
When looking at it, certain ways the action is set up make it even more fun. One of the ways they do this is by putting the other characters outside of Thomas in trouble. This makes much of what’s taking place more intense since you don’t know if the other characters are going to make it through the events and situations that they’re presented with. Since he’s the central character, you know Thomas is going to survive, so having the others stare down these situations creates more suspense if you don’t what’s going to happen.
Outside of the action and how it’s usually set up, there’s far too much dialog filling up our time while trying to watch this. I know these speaking parts need to be included, but it serves more as a way to break up the action and lengthen the movie than anything else. This bogs down the movie and slows everything up as the overall strengths that I’ve spoken of get reduced.
As much exposition as we’re forced to sit through, it would have been nice if they would have given us a chance to get to know these guys at some point. With the first film, it’s clear to see why they don’t allow this since they all pretty much have amnesia, but there are at least a few chances being presented here that could give us something. They even have a handful of flashback scenes, but even those don’t show anything in those terms.
Ultimately, I do wish that The Scorch Trials had been shortened up before it was released to the public. Doing so would have made for a better movie and a better score from me. By reducing the number of scenes of exposition, this would have accomplished just that. Because they didn’t understand that this would make for a film of better quality, we’re stuck with something that’s unable to consistently provide valuable entertainment.
Director: Wes Ball
Ki Hong Lee
Film Length: 129 minutes
Release Date: September 18, 2015
Distributor: 20th Century Fox