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.