Heroes find their way
MAZE RUNNER: THE SCORCH TRIALS ( M)
Director: Wes Ball ( The Maze Runner ) Starring: Dylan O’Brien, Kaya Scodelario, Aiden Gillen, Thomas Brodie- Sangster, Giancarlo Esposito Verdict: The only way to beat the heat? Never forget to move those feet BY marking out its territory so decisively as a boys- ier, noisier cousin of The Hunger Games, the Maze Runner saga ( based on the books by James Dashner) will never capture hearts or ring tills like Katniss Everdeen and company. However, there is a sincere and straightforward modesty to all things Maze Runner that grabs you from the get- go.
While picking up right where the original left off, Scorch Trials immediately alters its storytelling direction quite dramatically.
The initial Maze Runner premise was dominated by a claustrophobic rat- race against time, and also an omnipresent enemy yet to reveal itself.
Now, in Scorch Trials, series hero Thomas ( Dylan O’Brien) and his fellow rebel Gladers are no longer rushing about for dear life inside a confined space.
By the end of the opening act here, they have been let loose into the real world. Or, at least, what remains of it now that the planet has been ravaged by the dreaded Flare virus.
Just as importantly, Thomas and the Gladers can now put a name to the faceless entity that has been treating them like lab animals: the World Catastrophe Killzone Department ( or WCKD for short).
Back when everyone was merely trapped inside the Maze, the need to survive outweighed any need to investigate why they were being put through this ordeal.
While remaining alive ( and a step ahead of WCKD) is still the chief priority of all Gladers, their relative freedom as fugitives starts generating some revealing and disturbing answers. The Gladers’ apparent immunity to the Flare virus, while not fully understood by themselves or WCKD, holds the key.
Complicating matters further for Thomas as a leader are some compulsory journeys across a forbidden region known as The Scorch. These desolate, sun- crisped badlands have been overrun by Cranks, a zombie- like species that embody the Flare virus at its deadliest.
Towards the end of The Scorch Trials, proceedings as a whole come down with a slight case of “secondmovie syndrome” ( where the story loses both shape and flow while the filmmakers hastily construct a launchpad for the finale to come).
There is also some excessive violence laced throughout the movie that sees it very lucky to have been given a M- rating here in Australia. ( At the very least, parents of primaryschoolers should keep their children well away from this one).
However, overall, this is a worthy addition to what is shaping as one of the better youth- centric series of its kind.