By Marshall Cearfoss
Before we delve into the review, I’d like the audience to know that, at the end of this article, I have some answers for a few questions that have been posed to me in regards to my reviews.
Now for the good stuff.
I went into this movie with higher-than-usual expectations. I personally was blown away by the original Maze Runner. It made a unique mark in its year- it wasn’t just your typical, run-of-the-mill teenage-centric movie. It actually had some depth and intrigue which Divergent, The Hunger Games, and Ender’s Game (forgot about that last one, didn’t ya?) just didn’t execute well. It ACTUALLY wasn’t about a world where a rebellious group of teens have to take part in a revolution against a socialistic, power-hungry government.
But like always, all original ideas must come to a violent and savage end.
Sadly, this good idea was brought to its demise in only the second of its three films. The basic idea is that Thomas (played by Dylan O’Brien, who went to the Katniss Everdeen School of Never Smiling) has to rely on his team of a bunch of support actors who honestly aren’t significant enough to the story to even mention. Here’s where things get cliché: They have to trek through a post-apocalyptic world to find more rebels and fight the nasty government comprised of a bunch of meanie jerk adults (more on that later). Oh, and lots of zombies.
Ok, that’s pretty much all you need to know before you watch this movie.
Here’s the thing, the first movie was phenomenal. Why? Because it actually didn’t blatantly rip off of the ocean of other action movies intended exclusively for millennials. It didn’t have a confusing love triangle, or really any love story for that matter – it didn’t have an establishment government trying to shoot good things (as far as we knew) – and it didn’t have factions, states, or districts – it was perfection… Or at least unique.
But The Scorch Trials had almost ALL of those ghastly things. Plus zombies. I hate zombies. (1. Because I have some strange phobia of zombies or something. 2. They have become the go-to for lazy story tellers.) This movie, unlike its predecessor, simply couldn’t shove enough clichés into the plot: All teens are perfectly innocent, (almost) all adults are just meanie jerk faces who want power and money and take all of the fun away from the innocent teens, some kind of virus has spread, San Francisco is in ruins, the teens fight the meanie adult government, zombies, blah blah blah- Yep, they’ve got everything you need for a 2000’s teen film.
Now, despite the clichés, this movie actually did some things right.
“Wait, he likes things?”
The acting was very believable. It definitely wasn’t ‘Last Knights’ caliber of acting, but it still was well performed. Also, although the storyline was cliché, they knocked it out of the park (speaking of clichés) with some unforeseen plot twists and edgy (albeit sometimes confusing) character development. Now, despite the heavier emphasis of a love interest (even triangle!), this film didn’t go too trigger happy with the mushy stuff. Allow me to summarize the lovey-dovey relationship in this film: “Alright, let’s kiss. Ok, now that we’ve kissed- WHO THE H*** ARE YOU? Whatever, it doesn’t really matter anymore. Let’s go shoot zombies and adults and all explosive things.”
I know, that wasn’t funny.
Anyway, let’s wrap this up because I’m tired and need a burrito. In conclusion, although this movie abandoned all of the good things that its older sibling flaunted so proudly, it is still an intriguing action film. It has acceptable acting and some compelling twists.
Except zombies. Man, I hate zombies.
I’d like to thank Times Square Cinema for making this review possible. When you walk up to the ticket booth, tell them not to allow any old people in the theater, because they’ll ruin the fun.
Q: Who is your intended audience? A: Anyone willing to read. I write reviews so as to not spoil the films for those who haven’t seen them yet, but I try to make them at least somewhat entertaining for those who have.
Q: You seem to have hated that movie, so should I watch it? A: YES!!! Even though my cynicism makes it look like I hate every movie, these reviews are purely my opinion. I encourage everyone to go watch these movies for themselves and decide individually. My reviews are just supposed to give the audience a general idea of each movie.
Q: Do you hate all movies? A: No, not at all. But there are a few things that make it look like that. 1.) I just happen to have disliked most of the movies I’ve reviewed so far. 2.) Sometimes I have to exaggerate my opinion to make it entertaining. Though I never change my beliefs, I just make them bigger than in reality. 3.) I will be completely honest; I took several filmography classes which kind of made me a snobby jerk as far as movies.
Q: Do you read the books first? A: I am not much of a book series reader, so usually no.