WARNING: Spoilers for the first film are below.
My review for the first entry can be found here.
Release: September 18, 2015
Story: Thomas (Dylan O’Brien), Teresa (Kaya Scodelario), Newt (Thomas Brodie-Sangster), Minho (Ki Hong Lee), Frypan (Dexter Darden) and Winston (Alexander Flores) managed to survive and escape the maze after the events of the last film. Now they find themselves in a mysterious, militaristic compound, run by a man called Janson (Aidan Gillen). The facility is housing Thomas, his friends and other maze survivors, who are all said to be immune to the Flare virus. Flare is turning people into zombie like creatures that can infect others. Thomas suspects dubious goings-on at the facility. His fears turnout justified, and Thomas and the others escape, taking their chances outside in the desolate, desert called the Scorch. While avoiding capture from Jason and the terrible W.C.K.D. organization responsible for the mazes, our heroes must survive the Scorch, avoid those infected by the Flare, and find answers and aid from the Right Arm, a group of W.C.K.D. enemies living in the mountains. Along the way, Thomas and his friends seek help from shady Scorch survivors played by Giancarlo Esposito and his surrogate daughter played by Rosa Salazar. All the while, more memories of their past with W.C.K.D. start flooding back to Thomas and Teresa.
Thoughts: Putting more emphasis on plot and action sequences, The Scorch Trials is less character driven than the opening installment in the Maze Runner series. The first film was deeply mysterious, one of the reasons why I liked it so much. There are still many questions that need answering in this film and the next, but the more I find out about the plot, the less intriguing it becomes. It’s not a terrible story by any means. The build-up might be greater than the resolution, however. While the film does set aside some quiet moments for characters to talk and progress, it never seems terribly substantial or like the characters are growing enough from scene to scene, which makes the film shallower than I would wish. Nevertheless, it’s a fun enough ride, if not as enjoyable and intriguing as the previous entry. I’m excited to see where the story will go in the next movie. I certainly still find it more interesting than either The Hunger Games or Divergent series, and I wish these films were getting more press.