This week I am stepping away from the MEGABOOK 4 creator interviews to talk about another movie. So after some delay, I finally made it to the theater this past weekend to see Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials, and I have to admit… I am rather indifferent. That is to say, that I am not disappointed, nor am I impressed with the movie, but I guess that is to be expected with the second installment of most trilogies. The first sequel is always meant to simply transition into the final act, so it will answer a few questions, set up a few new subplots and characters, and inevitably leave the audience with a larger cliffhanger than the first installment did.
The movie opens with amnesiac protagonist Thomas (Teen Wolf’s Dylan O’Brien) waking up on a helicopter as he arrives at a facility where his group joins several other groups of teenagers who survived the mazes in other locations. Thomas immediately begins to suspect something is amiss at the facility though and one young man by the name of Aris approaches Thomas and shows him that the facility is in fact not the haven it was portrayed to be. Upon further investigation, Thomas learns that the organization known as WCKD is actually using the facility to harvest the children from the mazes. After narrowly escaping the new prison, Thomas and friends realize how dangerous the world outside their cozy maze really is as they encounter bandits and rebels, people infected by what they call the Flare who are essentially zombies, and more soldiers from WCKD. Along the way, Thomas’ group is joined by the mysterious Jorge and Brenda and they eventually travel into the mountains where they ally with WCKD’s greatest enemy, the Right Arm, and learn more about why WCKD wants to harvest the children and potentially a way to save the world from the Flare virus.
That’s all I wanted to say without spoiling anything for anyone else wanting to see the movie or read the book series. The pacing and the action of the movie is so-so, and the last fight scene between the Right Arm and WCKD is pretty unbelievable, but it works well enough like any other movie where the underdog protagonist is faced with overwhelming odds. I admit that I have never read the books, so everything the movie presents to me is all I have to go on for this series and it allows me to be surprised, but I just don’t see how the major issues presented in this series could actually be resolved. If anything, the movie really left me with more questions than answers. The biggest one being that if WCKD needed kids who were immune to the worldwide plague, why place them in mazes with manmade monsters at all instead of just testing the kids’ blood to see if they were immune? And why couldn’t they work the awesome Griever monsters into the plot instead of replacing them and making it feel like another zombie movie? Hopefully all of my questions will be answered in the next movie or two and the story will give a satisfying conclusion.