Reviewed by: Pamela Gardner
|Featuring:||Dylan O'Brien … Thomas
Kaya Scodelario … Teresa
Thomas Brodie-Sangster … Newt
Nathalie Emmanuel … Harriet
Aidan Gillen … Janson
Katherine McNamara … Sonya
Patricia Clarkson … Ava Paige
Giancarlo Esposito … Jorge
Ki Hong Lee … Minho
Barry Pepper … Vince
Lili Taylor … Mary Cooper
|Director:||Wes Ball—“The Maze Runner” (2014)|
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,
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.
…“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