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Movie Review

Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials also known as “The Maze Runner: Scorch Trials,” “The Maze Runner Chapter II: The Scorch Trials,” “Maze Runner: Prueba de Fuego,” “Maze Runner: Prueba de fuego,” “El corredor del laberinto: Las pruebas,” “Maze Runner - Die Auserwählten in der Brandwüste,” “Az útvesztő: Tűzpróba,” “Maze Runner: Prova de Fogo,” “Maze Runner: Provas de Fogo,” “Maze Runner: La fuga,” “Begantis labirintu: isbandymai ugnimi,” “Giai Ma Me Cung: Thu Nghiem Dat Chay,” “Labirent: Kavurucu Calismalar,” “Labyrintti: Aavikkokokeet,” “Lavirint: Beg kroz zgarište”

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for extended sequences of violence and action, some thematic elements, substance use and language.

Reviewed by: Pamela Gardner
CONTRIBUTOR

Very Offensive
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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Teens Adults
Genre:
Teen Sci-Fi Action Thriller Sequel
Length:
2 hr. 11 min.
Year of Release:
2015
USA Release:
September 18, 2015 (wide—3,791 theaters)
Copyright, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation click photos to ENLARGE Copyright, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation Copyright, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation Copyright, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation Copyright, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation Copyright, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation Copyright, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation Copyright, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation Copyright, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation Copyright, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
Relevant Issues
Copyright, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

FEAR, Anxiety and Worry—What does the Bible say? Answer

bravery, courage

substance use

attempting to cure a pandemic

zombie craze in entertainment

death and final judgment

FILM VIOLENCE—How does viewing violence in movies affect families? Answer

Teen Qs—Christian Answers® for teenagers
Teens—Have questions? Find answers in our popular TeenQs section. Get answers to your questions about life, dating and much more.
Featuring: Dylan O'Brien … Thomas
Kaya Scodelario … Teresa
Thomas Brodie-Sangster … Newt
Nathalie Emmanuel … Harriet
Aidan Gillen … Janson
Katherine McNamara … Sonya
Patricia ClarksonAva Paige
Giancarlo Esposito … Jorge
Ki Hong Lee … Minho
Barry Pepper … Vince
Lili Taylor … Mary Cooper
more »
Director: Wes Ball—“The Maze Runner” (2014)
Producer: Gotham Group
TSG Entertainment
Temple Hill Entertainment
Distributor: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

It’s time now to begin Phase 2.

Prequel: “The Maze Runner” (2014)

“The Scorch Trails” starts up right where we left off it the first film “The Maze Runner.” Thomas (Dylan O'Brien) and his fellow teammates are taken to a safe bunker where they are given shelter, food and an escape from the Maze. They learn that they were not in the only Maze, and there are many other similar survivors. They trade stories and speak of hope of a safe haven, where those who are in charge of the bunker promise to take them, a few at a time.

Almost immediately, Thomas has an unsettling feeling about his new surroundings. He soon finds confirmation of a possible rebellion and decides to inform his friends, and they devise an escape. They escape into the Scorch, a post-apocalyptic wasteland, where a zombie-style illness is widespread, and the infected roam the land. Thomas and his crew journey to find the rebellion… and answers.

This is a tension-filled intro to the sequel. Let’s start with the acting. Thomas (Dylan O'Brien) and Ki Hong Lee are stand outs in a well constructed cast. I have not read the books, but the story is truly eye-catching and told very well, and it’s easy to follow and understand, if you watched the first film. The cinematography is appealing and believable.

Now to the objectionable content, the violence is intense, but not gratuitous. However, the language is much worse in this film. I counted 15+ sh**, hell (5), damn (4), SOB (2), and a several profanities, which are beyond unnecessary—Jesus (3), God (2), My G*d (1), Oh my G*d (1).

As for a biblical perspective, there is a lot about standing up against a tyrannical establishment. Plus, a resounding theme of hope. In these uncertain times, we must remember where our hope lives. Jesus is our hope, as Romans 12:12 says,

Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer, reminds us of this.

I personally liked the sequel, minus the swearing and other objectionables, I mentioned above. This film served as a a great sequel and good prequel to the next film “Death Cure.”

Violence: Heavy to extreme / Profanity: Moderate to heavy / Sex/Nudity: Mild—male showering (head and shoulders), passionate kiss, women who may be prostitutes

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.


Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Comments below:
Positive
Positive—This movie is VERY intense; several of my friends were freaking out and looking away, due to the violence. My friend said that this movie is the scariest movie he’d seen, second only to “Rage” .
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Mike, age 23 (USA)
Neutral
Neutral—I feel that in order for people to make a decision to watch this movie, they may need to be aware of something which could potentially be spoilerish, I ask that if you do not wish to read the spoilers, please skip to the third paragraph. This is essentially a zombie movie. The movie contains horribly disfigured zombie-like people who usually pop out of the shadows, and done in such a way to produce jump scares. Because of this, I would highly recommend parents review the movie before letting their kids see it.

With that in mind the movie was fairly okay. The language was present, but far and few in between. There is one suicide scene, I should add, but the actual death occurs offscreen. The violence, of course, is heavy in the movie. I definitely liked and preferred the first movie better.

As I mentioned before in the second paragraph, I recommend parents review the movie first before letting kids see it, as it does contain gruesome images and jump scares.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Veryan, age 26 (Canada)
Negative
Negative—I was pleasantly surprised by the first offering of MAZE RUNNER, but this one bored me to tears. The writing, dialog and acting are… awful. The special effects are okay, but it’s one of those movies where the implausible becomes a distraction. ***SPOILER*** I’ll admit I was a little curious after the ending of the first, to see where they would take the story. (I’m not a follower of the book series.) Essentially, the writers got lazy and made this an escape from simply a bigger maze of sorts… with zombies. That’s right. It turns into a zombie movie—and an especially cheesy one at that. I just rolled my eyes… no that’s not quite right… I closed them. You know a movie really isn’t worth the theater price when you doze off for 5 minutes, in the middle of a zombie sequence, no less, and when you wake up you realize you haven’t missed any part of the story or drama.

Yes, they talk about Evolution. …yes, there is a lot more sexual and drug overtones, but it is treated disdainfully. The biggest offense for Christian audiences (in my humble opinion) isn’t the subject matter or profanity, it’s the complete lack of intellectual or psychological stimulation.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 2½
—JB, age 54 (USA)
Negative—This movie was quite violent. My 14 year old son, who had seen it already, had warned that his siblings could not watch it. How right he was. Blackened, empty eye sockets (people had gouged their eyes out, but that was not shown), zombie like people, who in some instances become entangled with some plant life growing in and through them, a great deal of shootings happening.

I preferred the story line of the first movie and the suspense, and there was less human violence. I felt disappointed to think, this is “YA” entertainment, Young Adult movie based on a Young Adult series of books. Problem is, it’s not 20 somethings watching this, it’s teens. The book is sold at book fairs in middle schools, and the movie is a draw for these kids.

One character seemed to really like the S-word, as she said it often enough. Then there is the scene where they have to drink something before they can enter. Once they did I thought, ooooh, where are they going with this. Fortunately, clothes stayed on, but it certainly presented itself as an establishment of ill repute. All in all, I was not impressed, but disappointed. Give me the humor and family friendliness of “Goosebumps.”

Can we just keep our young teens innocent a while longer? Can we not have them exposed to such violence in film, books and games? I’m not an old fuddy duddy, but enough with the violence.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Andrea, age 43 (USA)
Comments from young people

none

Movie Critics

…“The Scorch Trials” adds nothing new to the unkillable dystopian genre, but it’s at least less ponderous than its predecessor. The many chases and ludicrous narrow escapes offer respectable doses of adrenaline. …
—John Williams, The New York Times

…The latest “Maze Runner” movie succeeds well enough as derivative survival-horror-action thrillers go, but makes for an unsatisfying, confusing sequel. …
—Andrew Barker, Variety

…They keep on running, but are they getting anywhere?… lacks a similar sense of originality and urgency, undercut by overly familiar characterizations and dilatory pacing. …
—Justin Lowe, The Hollywood Reporter

…a YA franchise runs out of steam… a worryingly tedious follow-up… [1/5]
—Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian (UK)

…Whether you should go now to the sequel to 2014’s “The Maze Runner” may depend on familiarity with the first two books in the James Dashner series or tolerance for playing catch-up in the dark. As is the film fashion these days, sequels based on young adult novels presume moviegoers are not coming in cold and also are willing to wait for the third (or, in other cases, fourth) movie to bring an end to the story. …
—Barbara Vancheri, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

…This one runs for 138 minutes, and so do its protagonists. …“I’m tired of running,” Thomas says at the two-hour mark, and I felt for him. And later: “What do we do now?” I’ll answer that one: We wait … for part three.
—Chris Knight, National Post

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