My 2015 Movies: The Maze Runner – The Scorch Trails (#11)

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(Warning: Before reading this post, watch the first movie because I’ll be spoiling that film’s ending).

I spoke at length last year about how much I enjoyed the first Maze Runner movie. I found it every bit fascinating, fun and intense, worthy of becoming the next big teen novel phenomenon alongside Divergent. After seeing in 2014, I couldn’t wait to enter that same world again the following year. Just where could this franchise go when you… um, don’t have a maze to run through anymore? Somehow they found a way.

Following the escape of our heroes from the maze and being confronted with the reality of their world, they are taken to WCKD headquarters for further care. They soon realize that their group was only one of many mazes and meet a bunch of kids who have also passed the maze experiment. Over time, Thomas notices some strange activity going on in this place, and the group eventually escapes the facility. They must now try to survive this strange and dangerous world looking for people they can trust.

Due to the difference of setting and conflict, this movie has a very different look and feel from the first one. Both are intense action thrillers with an emphasis on running from danger, but this film has more of a post-apocalyptic vibe. For lack of a better explanation: Maze Runner 1 is to 2 as Tomb Raider (2012) is to Fallout. Is this change for the better? In many ways yes. I really enjoyed this movie.

The story may be a different flavor from what we’re used to, but it’s still as exciting and interesting as the first if not more so. I’ll admit that the film drags at certain points, but not often enough to accuse it of padding or being boring. Its first and third act is where the film shines most and even the second act has some cool settings and events. The movie also answers a lot of questions we had from the first film while still leaving a few for the next one.

The Maze Runner knows how to make a chase scene, and this trend continues in Scorch Trials. Some stand-out action sequences include escaping WCKD, the ending battle scene and any moment in the Scorch during act one. As for effects, they’re pretty good. Sometimes, the look of the infected humans is questionable, but for the most part, they seem pretty realistic. Huge props also to this film’s set-design, because it looks amazing.

With most of the characters and cast returning from the first movie, the acting is just as great here as it was in previously. All of these guys’ performances range from serviceable to awesome, with our stand-out being Dylan O’Brien as Thomas. Not a day goes by that I won’t wonder how he would’ve done as Spider-Man, but I’m pretty sure this is going to be his signature character. He does a good job at carrying the film and is thankfully not annoying throughout the adventure. However, I should also give props to Ki Hong Lee and Thomas Brodie-Sangster for their memorable performances.

The Scorch Trials was a lot of fun and extremely entertaining. As far as sequels go, it serves as a fantastic continuation of the story, and an excellent bridge to the final film in 2017. Any fan of the first film will find nothing less of a good time here, and action movie fans will most likely agree.

I’m SBox180. Thanks for reading!

View #10 here!

For all entries in the 2015 Movie Countdown, click here!

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