MAZE RUNNER : THE SC ORC H TRIA LS
No rest for the WCKD
released out now! 12A | 131 minutes
Director Wes Ball
Cast Dylan O’Brien, Kaya Scodelario,
Thomas Brodie- Sangster
“The Maze is one thing,” slurs Aidan Gillen’s Janson, “but you kids wouldn’t last a day out in the Scoooorch.”
He’s not totally wrong: the huge labyrinth of last year’s The Maze Runner – where a group of amnesiac boys ( and girl) found themselves trapped – is gone. In its place is... well, everything. Sequel The Scorch Trials abandons its USP altogether – boldly opening up, for better and for worse, into something entirely different.
It picks up right where we left off: with Thomas ( Dylan O’Brien), Teresa ( Kaya Scodelario) and the other “Gladers” on the run from WCKD ( World Catastrophe Killzone Department). Having escaped their lab, they venture out into a post- apocalyptic world ravaged by solar flares: where cities are now ruins in the desert, and a disease has rendered most of the population berserk, screaming zombies. This is the sprawling Scorch, and it looks beautiful.
Free of the Maze’s claustrophobia, director Wes Ball runs wild; there’s barely a sequence here lacking style or imagination. The action scenes, too, are urgent and masterfully paced; especially one involving a zombie attack in a mall. Compared to other YA efforts, this is far more grim and gory.
Even so, such momentum works hard to mask a flimsy, unfocused script. Action is one thing, but the film also needs a better- developed sense of mystery – as well as a deeper exploration of character relationships and a wit that goes beyond tired lines like, “well, that doesn’t sound good.” When the dust settles The Scorch Trials is, as we’re repeatedly told of WCKD, “good” – just not as good as you want it to be. Stephen Kelly
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Developers had ruined Tatooine.