Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials. A’maze’ingly Underwhelming.

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As the thunderous drumming commenced and the golden tinted logo panned the screen I could already tell that this was going to be an underwhelming experience. I scrunched in my seat as the overly dramatic symphony echoed the cinema and a range of hypnotic colours flashed before me. There I was with my legs crossed and my hands clawed together as if I was in a meeting, unphased by what was projecting on the oversized screen. I had my doubts about Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials’, the fact that I had not watched the previous films along with the sub-par reviews caused me to become overly cautious of what I was about to watch. Based on the popular book franchise these movies try to capitalise on the fans of apocalyptic thrillers and ridiculous fast-paced action sequences. Admittedly, I am one who enjoys this exhausted genre of film and as I continued to watch I found myself engaged in what was happening, though it was difficult to understand.

Unfortunately this sequel did require that you watch the previous films, it gave no context to the situation in which myself and my friends found incredibly frustrating. Forcing the viewer into watching a series of films so they can understand the plot is one of many reasons why the Star Wars Prequels failed. However from what I could understand the synopsis goes that this chapter of the franchise takes place immediately after the previous installment, with Thomas (O’Brien) and his fellow Gladers battle the powerful organization W.C.K.D while facing the perils of the Scorch, a desolate landscape filled with dangerous obstacles. The Flare is one of the key plot points in the film. The man made virus turns vulnerable citizens into chaotic, feral creatures which take the appearance of deformed and demented mortals in which the only cure is to drain the life source of over-aged teenagers. Fortunately they refrain from deeming the overly saturated term ‘Zombie’, however it still doesn’t hide the fact that 20th Century Fox are still trying to capitalise on this overly-popular and short-lived genre.


Just like myself, the characters had no idea to what was going on. Stranded in a world of horror and their minds full of fear, with their only hand to hold was one full of deception and deceit – similarly to the modern world, this universe is controlled by evil organisations willing to put young people at risk to protect and help themselves. It’s sad to see that in a land of zero sanity there are still hierarchies taking advantage of the minorities. But I didn’t watch the film to share my political views on today’s capitalistic society, I came for some action, adventure and of course, maze running. Much to my surprise the film managed to fulfil 2/3 of my expectations, however the lack of maze running did disappoint me immensely. Despite this flaw the film managed to entertain thanks to its overly elaborate action sequences and immoderately dramatic story. Although lively, the story spent way too much time explaining a situation that the audience already understood. This caused a lengthy film along with a disinterested audience. There has never been a time where I’ve actually wanted to leave a cinema as much as this, and due to how predictable the plot became I found myself looking hopeful at my watch, waiting for the wall of names to scroll.

At one point it seemed as if it had ended, the violent drumming stood silent while the screen lay colourless.As I was about to pounce out my seat the screen changed and a deep, gravely voice commenced. There was a collective sigh between me and my friends as we all plummeted back to our seats. we couldn’t stand to endure anymore of this lackluster production, we just wanted to get home and rethink how we should have spent the £8.50 that now sit in the back pocket of 20th Century Fox. The most undesirable aspect of this film was that there was no real ending, it was just passing the baton to the next film, almost as if they’re forcing us to watch the next distasteful instalment. If they wouldn’t have wasted so much time explaining pointless plot devices and continued the story we may have actually found out what happens to these young pioneers, and if they defeat the corrupted conglomerate: ‘W.C.K.D.’. But because this sequel failed to entertain me I won’t be coming back for the ‘epic’ conclusion.


Fortunately one thing that made this film bearable was the actor’s performances. I must say that although nothing spectacular, each actor did an amazing job conveying their emotions in the film. Teen Wolf star Dylan O’brien played the lead roll Thomas, an independent thinker with ingenuity, a wavy quiff and a skin-tight T-shirt. Despite him being eye candy for teenage girls he played a emotional part brilliantly. Game Of Thrones star Thomas Brodie-Sangster played the typical British Sidekick role with passion and grace, making sure that he showed true companionship to his friends. Giancarlo Esposito who is best known for playing Gus in the hit TV crime-drama ‘Breaking Bad’ played the rebellious adventurer Jorge. Much like Gus, Jorge was someone who was very stubborn and in control, in which Esposito was the perfect actor for this role.

I wouldn’t say this film was awful, the fact that it only met, and didn’t exceed my expectations may have been a cause to why it felt so sluggish. However it’s pointless narrative and drawn out story created an unenjoyable experience for the viewer. I must disagree with Imdb’s 7/10 ranking because it really doesn’t deem as high of rating. My lack of affliction towards this film caused it incredibly difficult to write this review and due to how disinterested I became nearing the end of this film is why I’m rating ‘Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials’ a 5/10.

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14 thoughts on “Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials. A’maze’ingly Underwhelming.

  1. Interesting review. I have to admit that I am getting a bit tired of ‘franchise’ films though, I want to go see a film that has beginning, middle and end and is not created for the audience to find out what happens a year down the line. I do find the failure of these types of films as you pointed out if the requirement of knowledge of what happened in the last films – where is the audiences motivation if they weren’t there from the beginning?

    Oh and btw, where do you find a cinema that charges £8.50? All the ones near me are around the £10 mark.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree that personally we felt demotivated watching this film. It was probably due to a lack of knowledge of the previous instalment, a weak narrative and a slow progression of the plot.

      Fortunately due to being 16 and a lack of facial hair I am usually ticketed as a teenager. I am currently a student so I do have access to a further discount!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Now it makes sense, trust the Yorkshire man to get all excited about why your trip was cheaper than the norm. If you can purchase a fake beard I fully recommend Legend. A straight up film with no drawing out into a sequel

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Haha, I defiantly need to purchase a mock goatee! I would love to see Legend, in fact I was watching the 1990 film ‘The Krays’ as it recently appeared on ITV 4. Despite its age I found it increasingly morbid but ridiculously entertaining!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve watched the first installment and am actually looking forward to this Scorching Trials because of the cliffhanger~ Perhaps watching the first one would put in a better perspective of things happening in the second. I would have to watch it myself first to get a feel of your review and connecting it to the first. Great title by the way! 😀

    Recently I’m reading a trilogy and wondering whether it will be turned into the next 3 part movie 😛 Just have to read it before the filmmakers do.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I do share your view that perhaps watching the first film would have helped emenncly with understanding the narrative however I always believe a good film should engage an audience no matter of what film they watch, be it a sequel or the seventh instalment. The Fast and Furious franchise do this surprisingly well.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Totally agree~~ the movie should engage from start to end. The FF series are awesome as standalone~
        However I noticed for the recent trilogies you can’t watch it as a standalone, take example for the Divergent series, I watched the second installment Insurgent and have no idea what it was if I didn’t watch the first.

        Like

  3. I think you definitely need to watch the original to enjoy this movie. I don’t think there are many movies where you can watch the second movie in the series without seeing the first and still enjoy the movie. There’s a change in pace and style from the first movie and I while I don’t think this movie is necessarily better than the first overall, it does improve on the original in certain aspects.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I understand where you’re coming from but personally this film didn’t excite me, its main purpose was to pass the baton on to the next part of the storyline. Frankly, it did a poor job of creating hype towards the next film.

      Like

  4. Great post! Though it was pretty long ur writting kept me hooked for a while ! Just an suggestion it d be great if you could bolden or underline the main lines so it s just easier for busy ppl to read up. Just a suggestion. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

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