Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials
Director: Wes Ball
Writer: T.S. Nowlin
Based on: James Dashner’s novel
Sequel to: The Maze Runner
Cast: Dylan O’Brien, Ki Hong Lee, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Kaya Scodelario, Dexter Darden, Alexander Flores, Jacob Lofland, Rosa Salazar, Giancarlo Esposito, Patricia Clarkson, Aidan Gillen, Lili Taylor, Barry Pepper, Alan Tudyk
Seen on: 9.10.2015
Plot [with spoilers for the first film]:
Thomas (Dylan O’Brien), Teresa (Kaya Scodelario), Minho (Ki Hong Lee), Newt (Thomas Brodie-Sangster) and Frypan (Dexter Darden) made it out of the labyrinth and are now under the care of the resistance against WICKED, led by Janson (Aidan Gillen). But there is something fishy going on there as well and soon, Thomas and his friends find themselves on the run through a desolate world they barely understand.
Although I didn’t like the first book or film, I decided to give The Scorch Trials a try, fully expecting a bad, but entertaining film. What I got, though, was a bad and painfully boring film that is so stupid it becomes incomprehensible.
After having read the first book, I couldn’t bring myself to read the rest of the series. But I asked a friend to tell me what happened and so I have some inkling of the major conceits and plot lines in the books. And it didn’t make much sense then, so the film would have been the perfect possibility to improve on the gaps in the series’ logic. But from what I gather, the film actually made it worse. I certainly can’t imagine that it made anything better. Even if you don’t compare it to the book, it just makes no sense at all. I don’t know how often I tried to figure it out and piece it together while watching the film, but I was just unable to. And I both trust in my intellectual capacities and I had a lot of time to think about that stuff to make figuring out a general possibility because it is just so damn boring.
To name but a few of my questions: If the cure is in the kids’ blood and not in their brains, why put them through the maze in the first place (not that “the maze changes their brain patterns and the brain patterns are needed for the cure of the world” is such a strong premise you need to stick to it)? Why wouldn’t the troublemakers be the first people to get hooked to the brainsuck machines? Speaking of, why would you have a communication area and video wall there? What do any of the characters want anyway?
At least the cast is amazing – most filmmakers would give at least a limb for a tenth of the talent that is in this film. Unfortunately, The Scorch Trials completely squander all that talent. Alan Tudyk in particular was great (he usually is) although he seemed to have joined in from another film. A film that, I suspect, I would have enjoyed watching a lot more.
But as much as I rack my brain, I can’t come up with a single other thing that I liked about The Scorch Trials or that didn’t make me question the logical thinking of everyone involved. Apart from the dissection of all the film’s failures after the film. That was fun. The film not so much.