The Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials – Film Review


I had high hopes for The Scorch Trials, the second film in The Maze Runner trilogy. The trailer looked good, and it appeared more ambitious in scale and like a proper action film. This is definitely the case and it is an improvement on the first outing, but it is still pretty messy in storytelling terms.

Thomas (Dylan O’Brien) and The Gladers, including Newt (Thomas Brodie-Sangster), Minho (Ki Hong Lee) and Teresa (Kaya Scodelario) have been freed from the Maze and placed in a “safe” compound. Thomas discovers WCKD, the guys behind the Maze, are really running the place so the Gladers escape and have to fight for survival in the outside world, The Scorch, which has been damaged by the solar flare and is covered in sand and filled with Cranks, zombie-like creatures who have been infected with The Flare. They must find the resistance to help them against WCKD.


This is based on a novel by James Dashner but it is not loyal to the source material at all. Their whole purpose for travelling through the Scorch has changed and it is a big deal – in the book, the whole thing was another test run by WCKD, just another trial stage after the Maze. In the movie, they go into the city of their own accord and WCKD chase them (not a test). This makes the film’s story less interesting cos it is just a cat and mouse chase and little else.

My main issue with these books/films is that it is hard to understand anybody’s motivations because it doesn’t make sense. Is WCKD good? Surely there are easier methods to get a cure from those immune to The Flare? But you get very little information about the organisation, Thomas’ connection to them and why he is so important. In fact, the dialogue/script is pretty weak and only really leads from one action scene to the next and then the lines are simply ‘run’ ‘shit’ etc.


But, I have to praise the action set pieces. There may be a few too many (it does go on a bit long) but they look cool and they are fun to watch. Some of their encounters with Cranks are truly scary and a bit gruesome. O’Brien and co spend A LOT of this film running from various obstacles and key scenes like the final showdown, the skyscraper situation and their escape from WCKD are awesome and you can tell the budget has been boosted for this sequel. It has been done properly. This is also obvious with the CGI, the Scorch landscape and shots of a decaying city and the whole setting.

It does have a weak script, but it will entertain its target audience and those who don’t think too hard into what’s going on – like me, who is trying to make sense of it all. I also like O’Brien as the lead, he is cute and a bit dorky which is perfect, the film looks incredible, it has some brilliant action pieces and it is very enjoyable.

In cinemas now 


  1. […] film continues where The Scorch Trials left off (I’d recommend a quick read of the plot beforehand) – with original Maze […]


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