The second instalment of the Maze Runner trilogy opens with the group of young escapees known as the Gladers being rescued from a deadly maze and whisked away to apparent safety.
The Gladers have learned that the maze to which they were confined was a giant lab experiment and they were the test rats. It is also revealed that a zombie-like virus has taken over and the world they once knew is an uninhabitable dust bowl.
Like similar film sagas The Hunger Games and Divergent, both of which have successfully adopted the dystopian, sci-fi, teenage action genre, The Scorch Trials continues to build suspense by leaving its characters and the viewers in the dark about what is happening.
It is gradually revealed that the World Catastrophe Killzone Department (WCKD) put the Gladers in the maze because they were immune to the zombie virus that decimated the population. Apart from the fact that WCKD was searching for a cure to the virus, it is not clear what purpose the maze served. Nevertheless, it makes for a good story.
The main character, Thomas (Dylan O’Brien), discovers that WCKD were behind the Gladers’ “rescue” from the maze, and that are still using the immune to treat the virus. He sets out to free his group from WCKD, but that means running into the desert in search of a mysterious rebel group in the mountains known as the Right Arm.
This film casts aside the Lord of the Flies elements of the first film, and becomes more about breaking away from the regime and waging a rebel war against WCKD. There are plenty of action sequences to keep viewers on the edge of their seats, and a few zombie moments to make you jump, so parents should use discretion as to whether young children should see the movie.
But if you don’t want to think too much about connecting the dots of the plot, then The Scorch Trials is highly entertaining.
The Maze Runner films are based on the book series by James Dashner, with third and final instalment, The Death Cure, currently planned for released in 2017. So far, the director has indicated that he will not split the final instalment into two separate films, as is the fashion with similar franchises in the genre.
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