Film Review: ‘Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials’ is Dystopian Rambling

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Average: 5 (1 vote)

CHICAGO – Movie pundits are falling all over themselves to point out there is no maze running in “Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials,” so buyer beware! What began in the first film as a new take in the dystopian Young Adult movie genre, has become a scattered, uninteresting mess.

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.0/5.0
Rating: 3.0/5.0

Having not read the original source novels, it was impossible to distinguish what made this latest adventure so intent on expansion. When our young heroes were whisked away in the first film, it seemed like an expressionistic twist, that the curtain was about to be drawn back on something that was really amazing. But what we get in ‘The Scorch Trials’ is a series of step-by-step weigh stations, that make less sense as the journey goes on. Also, so much of the first film depended on the personalities of the kids, and in this one they’re reduced to tiny props among the big blasts of action, and there are numerous additions to the cast that had me screaming for a scorecard. In addition, there was a parade of “B” movie stars of the era, including the great Barry Pepper in a “weird beard.” All this in 131 minutes, and it seemed both too much and not enough.

Thomas (Dylan O’Brien) is in the midst of a transition. The newly dubbed maze runner has run out of mazes, and at the beginning of the film is being whisked to an area where a bunch of similarly aged teens are being rounded up. He is with his original crew from the old mazes (those were the days), including Newt (Thomas Brodie-Sangster), Minho (Ki Hong Lee), Frypan (Dexter Darden), Winston (Alexander Flores) and Teresa (Kaya Scodelario).

They are in the middle of the Scorch lands, a desolate area most likely a leftover from the wars that spawned the mazes. After escaping their captors, including the odious Janson (Aiden Gillen), they are on their own until they reach the resistance camp, which includes Dr. Mary Cooper (Lili Taylor), Vince (Barry Pepper) and more kids like them. If only they don’t run into the evil incarnate, Ava Paige (Patricia Clarkson), all will be well.

”Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials” opens everywhere on September 18th. Featuring Dylan O’Brien, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Ki Hong Lee, Jacob Lofland, Patricia Clarkson, Alan Tudyk, Lili Taylor and Barry Pepper. Screenplay adapted by T.S. Nowlin, from the novels by James Dashner. Directed by Wes Ball. Rated “PG-13”

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials”

Maze Runner 2
It’s a Hallway, Not a Maze: The Cast of ‘Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials’
Photo credit: 20th Century Fox

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials”

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