If you’re fifteen, you probably already know this, but Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials came out this past Thursday. The movie tacks a sequel adventure to the surprisingly highly successful film adaption to the book The Maze Runner by James Dashner. While the first film truthfully attempted to follow the book’s plot line and stay somewhat true to the original, the second deviates a great deal. Far more than I had expected. In fact, I’ve been saying that it is only inspired by James Dashner’s The Scorch Trials.
You could call myself a fan of James Dashner, I suppose. I don’t really care for his writing style, but his story is truly captivating. So watching the movie hurt my heart as his plot was reduced to a mere attempt at a blockbuster teen horror/action/suspense/romance dystopian movie. It took me about five minutes in to realize that the film makers were going to completely abandon Dashner’s plot. I was moderately upset, but expected as much since in the first film they left out some crucially important plot details for the sequel to actually work. Something had to be done. It’s almost as if the film makers were like, “WHAT!!!?? MAZE RUNNER ACTUALLY PULLED A PROFIT???? WE HAVE TO MAKE THE SCORCH TRIALS NOW???? ……crap.
They essentially shot themselves in the foot after they deviated in the first one. Dashner’s story was simply impossible, so they made a movie simply inspired by his original story. Honestly, if I view the film in this light it helps me enjoy it a little more…..but I’m still mad.
Let’s talk about what was done well.
- The Cranks were nearly perfect. Although they changed how the virus was passed along (now it’s more or less transferred in old school zombie fashion….through the blood). So the humans in the Scorch are not all already infected. In fact, neither Brenda nor Jorge are infected when the Gladers run into them. Unlike most deviations, this one makes more sense for a film audience. It would have taken too long to explain the complex process of the virus contraction and how it’s processed in stages. By making it a normal zombie infection, they essentially bought themselves more time for crappy action sequences. And what’s a crappy teen movie without crappy action sequences?
- Jorge. Giancarlo Espocito was the best choice for this role and he easily outshines each and every actor/actress on the screen. I was very much a fan of his performance and I feel he was the only character who was really kept true to their alternate identity in the book canon.
- Brenda. Once again, Rosa Salazar was an excellent choice for the new love interest. She blows Kaya Scodelario, who plays Teresa, out of the water. She doesn’t rock a short hairdo as well as…well….Emma Watson, Natalie Portman, or Anne Hathaway, but her decent performance makes up for it. As long as she’s not screaming. Seriously her screams are really annoying throughout the entire film.
- Alan Tudyk. Do you really need a reason? Ok ok ok, I’ll give you one. He as high as a kite for his whole performance, and it’s wonderful.
The Bad is an extremely long list, unfortunately, so I’ve listed a few of what I’m calling the “unforgivables.”
- Aidan Gillen’s American accent. It’s horrible. Like really bad. I go into great detail here in the article I wrote for the trailers last month. It’s even worse in the film. It would make a great drinking game. Every time Aidan’s Irish accent peeps through, you get to take a drink! Finish your drink if there wasn’t even a hint of an attempt!
- Aidan Gillen’s character. He plays an interpretation of who the Gladers ill-affectionately call Rat Man in the novel. However, he isn’t graced with this name at all in the movie. His character is poorly written in general and I was very disappointed with someone so highly respected in the acting community.
- The multiple mazes. FILM AND BOOK SPOILERS AHEAD: In the book they discover the existence of another maze. One other maze. It is full of girls and one boy. Thomas’ maze, of course, contained the opposite. These two maze teams are set up as competitors in the trials. In the movie, however, they discover that there are multiple mazes. Probably around like five. This felt like an attempt to ‘one up’ Dashner. It didn’t sit well with me. END SPOILERS
- The final and perhaps greatest sin this movie put forth is the name. In the newly structured plot, the Gladers are not tested at all by WICKED. This made me wonder why they even kept the name Scorch Trials. Why call attention to a trial when there isn’t one? Maze Runner: The Scorch probably would have been easier to bill anyway, and it sounds way cooler to me anyway.
In the end, this movie really isn’t worth the trip to the theater. If you really want to see it, wait for Redbox.
Did you see Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials? What did you think? Do you agree? Leave your comments below.