September 25, 2015 5:52:39 pm
Last Year’s Maze Runner, the first in a trilogy, surprisingly stood out among its company of young-adult dystopian films. Young teens stranded on a grassy plot surrounded by walls and a maze, haunted by creatures and turning on each other, tapped well into the atmosphere of a Lord of the Flies.
But then, the teens escaped. Into the real world. Which is now nothing more than bombed-out buildings, uprooted roads, sandy banks, deserted malls, dust-laden vehicles, and lots and lots of zombies. Since Thomas (O’Brien), Minho (Lee), Teresa (Scodelario), Newt (Brodie-Sangster) and Frypan (Darden) don’t seem to need food anymore, it’s basically the zombies that haunt them. Apart from agents of the organisation that had them trapped in the Maze last time as part of an experiment, and are now hunting them down.
Shorn of the tension of being locked in, The Scorch Trials is just one long dash through a series of similar landscapes and awefully tiring zombies. Teresa, she of the worried forehead, keeps frowning more and more with sad eyes, so you know some other kind of trouble is around the horizon.
A song suddenly blares into the wilderness, and Thomas and new entrant Brenda (Salazar) somehow find themselves amidst a party in a psychedelic trance. But make no mistake. Both episodes are irrelevant.
Eventually we do figure out why WCKD (pronounced wicked) and standing in for ‘World In Catastrophe: Killzone Experiment Department’ wants the “immunes”. Though your thoughts may stray more towards which government department (or any department, for that matter) would call itself that, and how the Maze part fits into all this.
Eventually we also know where all this running is headed: the mountains, to join the ‘Right Arm’. Yes, that’s what the “resistance” calls itself. And given the WCKD, why not?
Cast: Dylan O’Brien, Ki Hong Lee, Kaya Scodelario, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Dexter Darden, Rosa Salazar, Giancarlo Esposito
Director: Wes Ball
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