By Sean Burtt


Maze Runner: Scorch Trials is directed by Wes Ball and is the second in the Maze Runner series, while I liked the first one, it did have its problems and I’m pleased to say that I think they realised these problems and tried to fix them.

This film follows Thomas, Dylan O’Brien, and his group of friends who escaped the Maze in the first film: Teresa played by Kaya Scodelario; Minho played by Ki Hong Lee; Newt played by Thomas Brodie-Sangster and others. These kids are ‘rescued’ by a group of people who say they are against ‘WCKD’, which are people who put the kids in the maze to start with. But this group isn’t what they seem and Thomas and his friends escape the compound where they are being held into the scorch, the decimated earth. But even if having to navigate and survive in a desert wasn’t hard enough.

People who are infected with the flare disease, which was alluded to in the first film, have turned into some form of zombies. I find the addition of these is absolute genius; of course this was the author of the book not the film makers but they are pulled off incredibly well. The kids have heard rumours of a rebel force in the mountains and they venture to find this rebel force whilst evading the ‘WCKD’ forces out looking for them.

First of all, the cast is pretty amazing all the young adult actors are very good. Especially Thomas Brodie-Sangster and Ki Hong Lee. But although the main cast was very good, the supporting cast the film assembled was superb this included Aidan Gillen and Giancarlo Esposito. The second name there was what made me incredibly happy, I think I may have actually cheered when I saw him, because I saw him on Breaking Bad as Gus and he was mind blowing and I always like to see people repaid for good work. Also Aidan Gillen is someone who has been repaid for good work on television. Some of the cinematography in this film is breath-taking they had some amazing sets and locations to work with. There are some beautiful shots which is not something you expect to hear from a young adult novel adaptation, this was a very nice surprise. The ‘zombies’ are terrifying and I really liked them, they were one of my favourite parts of the film.

This isn’t really a criticism but more of an observation, I don’t know how this film was only a 12A in the UK (PG-13 in the American system). This film should be a 15, there are parts of the film that are like The Walking Dead, the television show. For me this is not a bad thing but if a parent took like a 10 year old to see this film, they would be scarred for life! Now to the criticism, there is a lot unnecessary swearing in this film this is also why I think this film should be a 15 (or in America an R). This really took me out of the film, to the extent where I found myself tutting at the film every time they swore because it just wasn’t needed.

They also only used one of the many swear words that are available to them, I found this very unrealistic. I think the use of swear words was to distance themselves from things like The Hunger Games and make their films more gritty and grounded. But I don’t think this was something to go for as I’m pretty sure no one has ever swore in The Hunger Games films and no one cares, no one looks at that and thinks it makes it less unrealistic.

Also, some of the action in the film didn’t really do it for me. My heart wasn’t racing, I didn’t sit up and pay attention to the action sequences. This saddened me as the action in the first film was very well executed.

Altogether this isn’t a bad film actually I would say it is a very good film. There is not much plot to the film, it isn’t a character driven film but to say that it was a ‘popcorn film’ would be doing it a disservice in my opinion. I would thoroughly recommend this film to people but be aware of the swearing and horror elements. However, those things may enhance the movie but it was just not something I was expecting to be thinking about when leaving the cinema.

If like me your faith in humanity was tested after Insurgent, (IT WAS SO BAD!) this film will purge the hate you have for the dystopian novel adaptation genre from that film and get you ready for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 in November. I also respect the fact that, as I know of, the finale (if they don’t make the prequels into films) will not be separated into two films. This shows that they actually care about making one good film rather than the money they will get for making two. I can’t wait for the third instalment of this franchise.



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