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LATE REVIEW: Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials

Good day to you ladies and gentlemen, time for another film review and today I’m finally gonna be talking about Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials, I was meant to see this opening weekend at the latest, but working and timing with my sister had prevented me from seeing it sooner. I really liked The Maze Runner last year, it was a much better film than I expected and even though a sequel was laid out for us at the end of that film, I was curious to see where the next chapter in this series would go. So fast forward a year and now we have The Scorch Trials, so is the film good or bad, well read on and find out!

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The story can be described as the following:

“After having escaped the Maze, the Gladers now face a new set of challenges on the open roads of a desolate landscape filled with unimaginable obstacles.”

I thought the story was good. Scorch Trials isn’t a rehash of the last film, instead it expands into the larger world with these special facilities and remnants of former cities where society have chosen to live. This film expands the mythology of the world, gives more context on the Flare virus and what’s needed to cure it and explores the history of Thomas and his involvement with WCKD. There was a lot of drama, tension and trust issues between not only the Glade people, but also amongst themselves. That being said there wasn’t too much that was significant or amazing about this story, and those who weren’t into the first film probably won’t care for this entry in the series either.

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As for the cast let’s start with Dylan O’Brien who was good as Thomas, in this film Thomas is still the main source of a lot of the drama, mystery and danger that goes on in these films, but he’s also dubious of people trying to help him, wants answers to his past and wants to help people affected by WCKD’s schemes. I also liked Thomas Brodie-Sangster as Newt and Ki Hong Lee as Min Ho, both of them had some good moments to shine and be important, especially when it comes to Min Ho (my boy). I also enjoyed Dexter Darden as Frypan, and Alexander Flores as Winston. Kaya Scodelario did well as Teresa Agnes, her character was a little quiet and insignificant at first but then she became much more interesting later on. Also Jacob Lofland as Aris Jones was my favourite new character to come out of this film because of his resourceful nature and slightly odd interactions with people.

Then there’s Rosa Salazar and Giancarlo Esposito who were great as Brenda and Jorge, these two have a history together and I liked how they factored into the story and their interactions with Thomas were great too. Aidan Gillen as Janson, wow, this guy is charming, relaxed and full of info, but he’s also an undercover douche and you can tell from the beginning that something’s off with him. Gillen is just great at playing the bad guy and he does that very well in this film. Patricia Clarkson returns as Ava Paige and she’s just as cold-hearted and into her work as ever, and I enjoyed Lili Taylor’s performance as Mary Cooper, this character helped give more information about the world and connected more pieces about Thomas’ past. Alan Tudyk makes an appearance as Marcus and his character is pretty strange but very funny and enjoyable, Tudyk is just a guy that makes me smile and I love it when he has a memorable appearance in a film. And when it comes to the presentation, its good. Visually the film is good with some nice scenery, visual effects and action sequences too.

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In conclusion¬†Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials is different kind of film from the last one, however it is different in the right kind of way. The story is interesting, the performances are good and the action is pretty good. While it won’t convert people who were’nt fans beforehand, I believe that this is another solid film in this series and I hope that it’ll get a solid conclusion with the next film.

Rating: 7.5/10

So what did you think of Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials? Whatever your thoughts are be sure to drop them below and let me know. Until the next time, see ya¬†later! ūüėÄ

 
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Posted by on September 30, 2015 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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The Maze Runner Review

Good day to you ladies and gentlemen, it is film review time once again and now I am going to give you my thoughts on¬†The Maze Runner. This is a film I’ve wanted to see for a while ever since the first trailer came out and the wait has been made even worse because of the ridiculous gap between the US and UK releases (stupid distribution¬†bullshit). But anyways, I saw the film last night and I’m ready to pass judgement.

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The story can be described as the following:

“The story follows Thomas, who awakens in a rusty elevator with no memory of who he is, only to learn he has been delivered to the middle of an intricate maze, along with a slew of other boys, who have been trying to find their way out of the ever-changing labyrinth ‚ÄĒ all while establishing a functioning society in what they call The Glade.”

I thought the story was pretty good for the most part. What I appreciated was that the marketing gave you an idea of what the film was going to be about, but didn’t ruin any of the key¬†story elements and that is something I always appreciate about GOOD film trailers. The film centers around the themes of trust and survival and presents you with a few questions like:

  • Do you stick to what you know or do you take a chance with something new?
  • Who do you trust?
  • Is this/that a good idea?
  • When there is a conflict what side do you choose?

Those are just a few questions that this film presents for Thomas and the inhabitants of The Glade and to some degree, you as the viewer as well. While this film doesn’t do anything¬†unfamiliar¬†with the plot in terms of structure and the use of the main protagonist, it does at least present you with an interesting plot. I do like the whole ‘Lord of the Flies’ set-up going on with the boys at The Glades, while the situations are very different, there are a lot of similarities and I enjoyed seeing the boys being a makeshift family, living boy rules in a miniature society and helping¬†each other out while never questioning¬†their leader. While a lot of the mystery and intrigue is lost towards the latter half of the film it is well-established at the start with the maze itself by establishing the monsters inside, the fact that the maze changes shapes and no one has ever survived a night alone outside of The Glades. There are a lot of moments of tension not only among the boys, but also once pieces of the mystery behind the maze slowly started to be revealed. I feel like some of the plot elements were a bit convenient, there are also a good few people that don’t get enough screen time to be relevant and the pacing was a bit questionable¬†at points but those are only minor nitpicks.

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When it comes to the cast they were pretty good for the most part with some sticking out more so than others.¬†Dylan O’Brien was pretty as Thomas, the¬†protagonist. Thomas is special, that is made apparent from the beginning and he is always questioning things and wants to escape and while his need for answers can be a little annoying, at least he is there to do something about the boys current situation.¬†O’Brien reminded me a lot of Logan Lerman and that was a very distracting factor throughout my viewing of this film, but I do believe he did a great job in the title role, he was very¬†energetic and believable and I think this is a great starting point for him to find himself in more films later in his career.¬†Aml Ameen as Alby was pretty good, he is the leader of the Gladers, people look to him because he help establish the society they live in and looks out for his men,¬†he is an all-round great guy, but he also isn’t above making tough decisions. Ameen was very good in this role and was one of my favourite people in the film.¬†Thomas Brodie-Sangster as Newt was definitely one of my favourites for sure. He was second in command and while he follows Aml’s lead he also makes some major decisions and has Thomas’ back in tough situations. Sangster was very charming, funny and courageous in this role, and I’m just happy to see my man from Game of Thrones in a film in the cinema.

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Will Poulter gave another one of the stronger performances as Gally, he is pretty much The Glade’s muscle man and instantly takes a disliking to Thomas and blames future actions on him. While the guy is a bit of a jerk, you do have to agree with him on a few points because he does ask a lot of the relevant questions. Poulter has come a long way from those days in that Narnia film, he was bloody good and intimidating in the role. Ki Hong Lee was another good person as Minho, he was the main Runner and has a pretty big history with the maze.¬†Blake Cooper was probably my surprise favourite as Chuck,¬†he was the youngest of the boys in The Glades and his friendship with Thomas is one of the nicer, subtle moments in the film. Cooper was cute and hilarious and was one of the main aspects of why I liked the characters in this film.¬†Kaya Scodelario as Teresa¬†was disappointing, from the way the trailers were going, it made her seem she was going to be an integral part of the film, but apparently not as she is one of the least compelling people there.¬†Dexter Darden as Frypan, and¬†Jacob Latimore as Jeff¬†are fine, but hardly worth¬†mentioning.¬†And finally¬†Patricia Clarkson as Ava Paige, she was pretty good. As soon as I saw her face in my head, I was like “Oh my god, it’s Tammy 1 from Parks and Recreation!” And if anyone watches that show the similarities are noticeable.

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In conclusion The Maze Runner is a very good film filled with action, mystery and intrigue throughout. The main cast is solid, especially Logan Lerman and I was surprised by how much I liked the film. Now, while there were a few nitpicks I had here and there, as a person who never read the source material, I am interested to see where this new series of films will go.

Rating: 8/10

So what did you think of¬†The Maze Runner? Was it your cup of tea or not and if you read the book how do you feel the film compares to the source material? Whatever your thoughts are be sure to drop them below and let me know. Until the next time, see ya¬†later! ūüėÄ

 
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Posted by on October 21, 2014 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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