Thursday, September 10, 2015

Review of MAZE RUNNER: THE SCORCH TRIALS: Rogues, Rebels and Zombies!

September 10, 2015




Almost exactly one year ago, the first "Maze Runner" film was released in local theaters. I thought that the action sequences within the maze scenes were all quite exciting and very entertaining to watch. However, after all the excellent suspense and tension built up in the first two-thirds of the film, at the end nothing really gets explained clearly.  It felt like an incomplete film on its own. For those it gets interested though, this sequel is expected to give answers to questions raised in the first film.

While under the care of a high-security facility, Thomas becomes increasingly suspicious of Janson, the man in charge. When he overhears a sinister plot hatching, he gets his fellow Gladers out to brave the arid desert called the Scorch outside. However, it was not only the elements they have to worry about, there were still a horde of killer zombies called the Cranks out there to contend with. Thomas and his gang survive the Scorch and unite with the rebel group in the mountains in order to fight the danger foisted on humanity by the increasingly mysterious Dr. Ava Paige and her WCKD organization.

Dylan O'Brien continues his good portrayal of the ever-doubting Thomas. In this film, his character would need to make a lot of difficult decisions and O'Brien convinces us that he can make those hard choices. The other young actors in his gang do not really do too much to stand out. Aidan Gillen, the ever-slimy Littlefinger on "Game of Thrones" brings his smarmy charms in this film as the Rat-Man, Janson. One look at him and I cannot really separate him from his TV character. 

Rosa Salazar gives a strong performance as Brenda, a survivor within the city ruins whom Thomas encounters. She registers better onscreen than the main female lead Kaya Scodelario, who plays Teresa. It was good to see another "Game of Thrones" actress in there, the attractive Nathalie Emmanuel, who plays Harriet, one of the rebels. Veteran actresses Lili Taylor and Patricia Clarkson lend class to their rival scientist characters, Mary Cooper and Ava Paige, respectively.

The excitement build up strongly in the first act. However the second act in the Scorch felt a bit slow as the Cranks overstay their parts too long. Their horror scenes were effectively creepy at first but they get a bit too repetitive. A protracted hallucinatory party scene can also be quite head-scratching. The third act though hikes up the explosive climactic action and revives anticipatory audience excitement for the next installment. The production design of elaborate setup of the WCKD laboratory and the ruins of the huge city looked very good. At the end of the 130 minute running time, there are still a lot of questions about the true intentions of WCKD, or is that name alone already a giveaway clue?

There was no more maze in this movie anymore for the characters to run through. However, the maze is for the viewer who has to try to absorb this whole labyrinthine dystopian world that James Dashner hatched in his novels. Director Wes Ball does his best to make the complex plot engaging, exciting and entertaining with some pretty well-executed action scenes. Overall, when compared to the first "Maze Runner", this sequel was the more satisfying film for me. 7/10.


17 comments:

  1. It's interesting to find out more about this movie, as I read the series. I wasn't sure whether to go see the movie or not - this review helps me decide :)

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  2. I find this movie really interesting. A lot of people have been so excited about this.

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  3. A lot of bloggers have been posting about this movie.. guess, i should really give it time.

    Kai, www.lilpink.info

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  4. haha, it's fun to read the review of the same movie back to back! the other review rated it higher though... and i thought the first maze runner was good enough, so if you feel this is better... that means scorch trial is a MUST watch for me.

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  5. I haven't watched the first one in this movie which made me think a little if ill watch this one. Though I haven't heard friends watching this, still seems interesting. I read good review and might give this a go.

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  6. I haven't watched the first one in this movie which made me think a little if ill watch this one. Though I haven't heard friends watching this, still seems interesting. I read good review and might give this a go.

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  7. My two teen children are dying to see this movie! Thank you so much for the review — I might have Dad watch it with them for a kids’ night! I'm a little too scary for this one!

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  8. Wow.. I am getting so fascinated reading this movie review on every blog.Waiting to watch this movie soon.

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  9. Is this the it movie to see this month? This is the second time I've come across a good review about The Scorch Trials that I'm dying to see it now! I was impressed with the 1st film, so seeing the 2nd one was definitely in the cards.

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  10. Never got into the first movie. But I'm sure my husband will drag me to see this sometime this weekend.

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  11. Read many good reviews about this movie. I watched the first Maze Runner it was so so only but this one my friends said its a must watch. Thanks for the recommendation I will watch it this weekend.

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  12. Hmm, I'd like to see how Brenda is played because she's going to be a key character up till the third movie, I really do hope this one's better than the last one because I read the trilogy and liked it.

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  13. I have read the series, and my son is a major fan-boy, so we will be catching this at the movies soon! From your review it sounds little boring though! I hope it will be not too far removed from the book!

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  14. I better catch up in the maze runner movies. This one looks exciting and I've heard so many good reviews.

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  15. Hey, I realised we have generally similar opinions about this film! Hi 5. It's nice to be sharing same movie's review once in a while to allow readers to see two different opinions at one go!

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  16. Having two people (you & tiffany) say that this is better the previous movie quite makes me want to see it (out of curiousity) but I'm really not interested with this kind of movie. It would be my mom who would appreciate this movie.

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    Replies
    1. *curiosity (sorry for the wrong spelling)

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