In this next chapter of the epic "Maze Runner" saga, Thomas (Dylan O'Brien) and his fellow Gladers face their greatest challenge yet: searching for clues about the mysterious and powerful organization known as WCKD. Their journey takes them to the Scorch, a desolate landscape filled with unimaginable obstacles. Teaming up with resistance fighters, the Gladers take on WCKD's vastly superior forces and uncover its shocking plans for them all.
After the runaway success of the first Maze Runner a sequel was always on the way and The Scorch Trials is just as enthralling as the first instalment.
Teen Wolf star Dylan O’Brien is back as Thomas, leading the gang through the trials of life outside the maze. He does a solid job but it’s his supporting cast that kept me entertained, with no less than three Game of Thrones stars and an appearance from Gus from Breaking Bad. Aidan ‘Littlefinger’ Gillen seems to relish untrustworthy characters and is having great fun here, joined with equally talented Throne-actors Thomas Brodie-Sangster and Nathalie Emmanuel.
But it’s kick-ass Korean-American Ki Hong Lee who is impressive here. Lee, who actually lived in Auckland as child, provides some much-needed laughs and action man moments, and when the film takes a detour following only O’Brien we miss Lee’s natural charm.
Director Wes Ball, who made his debut with the first Maze Runner, is back and is a man who can handle the SFX action scenes. He started off in visual effects and he delivers plenty of intense spectacle that left me and my young cousin on the edge of our seats. The best thing about this film series is that in never talks down to its audience, it’s scary stuff (the zombie-like infected people give great frights), people die and there’s even a hallucinatory end-of-the-world rave party.
At two hours twenty he could have easily cut half an hour, as the cat-and-mouse game between the teens and the WCKD organisation gets a bit repetitive. There’s only so much of Thomas urging his friends to run faster that I can take.
The boy-centric Maze Runner can easily hold it’s head high with other dystopian young-adult series like The Hunger Games and Divergent. And with five books in the series by James Dashner, there’ll be no splitting of the third book, The Death Cure, which runs into cinemas February 2017.
The Scorch Trials, the second installment in The Maze Runner series, doesn’t let up in the intensity with thrilling set pieces. While half an hour too long, fans and newcomers won’t be disappointed by a scorcher of a sequel.
DVD Releases: 16th December 2015
Duration: 132 minutes
Starring: Dylan O’Brien, Kaya Scodelario, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Giancarlo Esposito, Aidan Gillen, Barry Pepper, Lili Taylor & Patricia Clarkson
Director: Wes Ball (The Maze Runner)
Originally the studio had a "wait-and-see" policy for greenlighting this sequel depending on how the first movie did, however they decided two weeks before the premier of the first movie to go ahead and greenlight The Scorch Trials anyway as the publicity and reviews were overwhelmingly good.
Australian actress Adelaide Kane was fascinated to play the role of Brenda but couldn't get the part due to scheduling conflicts.
The director Wes Ball says the movie will diverge from the book a little bit, but will get back on track in the third installment titled The Death Cure.