film, maze runner, scorch trials, book/film tie in, young adult, hunger games

Maze Runner: Scorch Trials

Carrying on where the last film left off, we see Thomas and the other survivors of the Maze being taken to a place of 'safety'. A lab where their bloods are checked, in a full health evaluation before they are allowed into the population with the rest of the survivors from the other Maze's. The other maze members are quite happy with the new life they have found for themselves. Teresa most of all, she is given back her memories. Thomas however feels a sense of terrible unease, which only grows when he discovers every single night a small number of the children are called to 'go to a better place'. Thomas follows into the secret area of the base and discovers all is very much not well. Before breaking himself, and his friends out of the lab heading into the Scorch looking for answers. Followed by an extremely reluctant Teresa.

I loved the first Maze Runner movie, so much so I straight went out to buy the whole book series so I could find out what the whole 'wicked is good' meant. I found it ground breaking for a young adult book series, alike but much darker than Hunger Games or even Divergent which sprung up around the same time. They were not afraid to hurt or even kill main characters from the start. They were not afraid to show gory details, to put their characters through hell. To push the human body to the brink of breaking, before throwing even more stress at them. Hunger Games may have started the post apocalyptic trend back off again these last few years, but The Maze Runner took it to a whole new level.

Having read the book series I already had concerns before seeing the next installment how on earth they could possibly keep the storyline even vaguely true to the book while keeping the 12A rating. Knowing there were very dark scenes of abuse, sexual contact, death, the Scorch damaging them, yet alone what happened to them in the compound before leaving to enter the Scorch. I had serious hopes that they would age it into the 15 bracket to maintain the storyline better. However my hopes were for nothing. They cut huge chunks out of the book to keep the age rating, leaving the storyline bouncing around so much so that I had trouble keeping up with it even knowing what should happen. My friend who went with me had seen the first movie but not read the books, kept leaning over to me to ask what was going on. I just answered I have no clue, I know what the book says, but this is nothing like it!

Running at 2 hours and 12 minutes without trailers this was a very long film, yet barely touched on half of the book’s contents. As much as I loath the trend of splitting a book into two films, they really should have done so here as well as aging it up to the next age rating. It would have made for a much more enjoyable and believable story line. On the up side it has persuaded my friend to read the books to understand what on earth she saw on the screen, hopefully many others will be convinced the same way.

As much as I enjoy the series and the movie, I do find myself filled with dread for the final installment (or installments if they split it). As the darkest most horrific of the books, they could never make a true representation under the 12A rating. Leaving me wondering if I will even bother to see the series to its end. There seems little point when so little of the content is included.

However even with the glaring confusion problems there are some amazing scenes, great special effects. The cranks are done very well, chillingly attacking the team. The start has a whole part where they run from cranks in an abandoned shopping mall which reminds me of a scene in the computer game Left for Dead that is truly terrifying. You will enjoy it more if you haven't read the books, or if you can completely suspend everything you know of what should be happening.


Sarah Beth James