Film review: Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials

For a film subtitled The Scorch Trials and mostly set in a post-apocalyptic desert in a not-too-distant future here on Earth, it is surprising that this second installment of the Maze Runner trilogy never packs any heat. Dylan O’Brien returns as Thomas, a former employee at the World in Catastrophe: Killzone Experiment Department (WCKD) who betrayed the system and was sent into a treacherous maze in the first film, released exactly one year ago.

That film, which went around in circles before the characters’ inevitable escape, at least had an interesting setting. In this latest episode, set in a wasteland of dust and rust, the characters are warned early on that any attempt to traverse the desolate terrain would be futile. Ah, but lest we underestimate the ingenuity of inexperienced amateurs, the team led by Thomas weighs the pro of escape against the con of potential death facing scorching heat and makes its getaway. Fortunately, but not surprisingly, the menace of life-threatening elements turns out to have been mere fear-mongering.

As has become commonplace in the cinema, the first fatality on the team is non-white, which merely underlines the refusal of the filmmakers to engage in any kind of creativity. One long scene takes place in a former shopping mall, where the six-member team find themselves on the first night, but the shots are so dimly lit we can barely make out what is going on, and it is laughable that this refuge is conveniently located less than a stone’s throw from the detention facility from which they had just escaped.

To read the full review, please visit The Prague Post. Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials is currently on wide release in Bulgaria.

(Still of Dylan O’Brien in Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials. Photo by Richard Foreman, Jr. SMPSP)