Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials takes off in fantastic fashion from right where we left off in the previous installment of the series: The Maze Runner. Thomas (Dylan O’Brian) and the gang are pulled out of one crazy ordeal and right into another when Thomas, with the help of a new character, finds out that not everything is as it seems with their rescuers. Followed by Minho (Ki Hong Lee), Teresa (Kaya Scodelario), Newt (Thomas Brodie-Sangster), Winston (Alexander Flores), and Frypan (Dexter Darden), they head out into the Scorch and attempt to survive against the elements and the creatures of the Scorch on their own.
One of the most striking things about this movie was the cinematography itself; many important scenes were punctuated and enhanced by fantastic angles and incredible shots. Combined with the soundtrack, these two aspects made the movie incredibly tense, putting you on the edge of your seat from start to finish. On top of the fantastic cinematography and soundtrack, the costume and creature design was incredible, enhancing both the movie’s setting and intensity equally.
The sole slightly disappointing aspect of the movie was the writing. It’s hard to believe that one of the stories’ main characters, Teresa, would have a meagre five or six lines of dialogue throughout the entirety of the film. Though most of the other characters had decent, if not engaging, dialogue, Teresa barely spoke a word from beginning to end. Maybe this can be chalked up to the inexperience of the screenplay writer, T.S. Nowlin, but hopefully it’s something that’s rectified by the time the third movie rolls around.
It’s a little surprising how well the series is doing, all things considered. Though T.S.Nowlin could use some more experience as far as screenplay goes, having only previously worked on The Maze Runner, and Maze Runner: The Scorch Trails, and currently working on Maze Runner: The Death Cure and Agent 13, he’s not the only newcomer in the world of filmmaking that is working on this series. The director Wes Ball only worked on Beginnings, a 2010 film, and a little seven-minute animated short he created while studying at Florida State University, which received a bronze medal Student Academy Award, before taking on the Maze Runner series. Besides, for these two, the actual creature design for the Maze Runner series has been done by Ken Barthelmey, whose only professional experience involved the creature design for a 2011 post-apocalyptic horror film that didn’t end up getting produced, before he took on the responsibility of creating The Maze Runner’s terrifying Grievers, and the horrifying creatures that litter the Scorch in Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials.
Aside from the little hiccup involving the lack of a main character’s dialogue, the overall movie was quite the experience. Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials merits a solid rating of 8.5/10, for a movie that leaves you breathless and in awe one moment, and has your heart pumping furiously the next.
Written By Giuliano Luponio
Originally Published: October 2015