Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials full movie review - Okay as a part of the series, but with serious lack in the story development
Thomas wakes up finding himself and his friends of Maze survivors, or The Gladers; Newt, Frypan, Winston, Minho and Teresa, being saved by mercenaries from Cranks, humans infected by the Flare virus.
They're taken to a facility lead by Janson where they meet fellow survivors of other Mazes. Every day they call some of the kids for relocation. One night, another survivor Aris wakes Thomas up and reveals to him that the kids called before are being unconscious. He overhears Janson talk to his colleague Ava Paige, about them working for World Catastrophe Killzone Department or WCKD, and about them searching for the resistance The Right Arm. This prompts Thomas to take The Gladers out of the facility. They escape their pursuers and enter a building. But the Cranks chase them and Winston hold their escape route, getting himself clawed by the Cranks. The next day The Gladers leave Winston with a gun as he tells them he doesn't want to change into a Crank.
That night Thomas brings The Gladers to another building where they meet a girl Brenda who brings them to a band of survivors lead by Jorge. Jorge distrusts the group and holds them in chains. But suddenly Janson and his WCKD arrive, so Jorge runs the building's self destruct mechanism. Thomas and Brenda gets separated but she tells him that they must find a man named Marcus because he'll be the one Jorge's heading to to take The Gladers to The Right Arm. Thomas and Brenda follow an underground path but the run into Cranks. They run into a spot where Brenda falls but gets held by a window. A Crank assaults her on the cracking glass so Thomas breaks it to let the Crank fall while pulling Brenda up. They reach Marcus's place but they don't find him. The man on the door tells them to drink a concoction as admittance fee to the place. Inside, the concoction makes Thomas and Brenda hallucinate. As they kiss, Thomas backs down due to thinking of Teresa. Thomas then passes out.
Waking up, he finds Jorge and the rest of the Gladers there already, while Jorge beats the man on the door, who's actually Marcus himself. Marcus eventually spills information, so the group takes off with his car to The Right Arm's location. Reaching the place, they get barraged by gunshots. Two female soldiers corners them but they recognize Aris so they lead them to The Right Arm's leader Vincent. Brenda was actually bitten by the Crank before, and her infection starts to kick in. The Right Arm's doctor stops Vincent from killing her as she recognizes Thomas. That night Teresa reveals to Thomas that she works for WCKD all along. WCKD helicopters storms the place and all of them get caught. But Jorge comes with a car and wrecks the place, so the WCKD flees, capturing Minho. On the aftermath, Thomas decides to go back and rescue Minho.
As part of a series, the story surely provided a nice addition. Changing the background world setting objectively from the enclosed environment in the Maze to the possibility of the deadly open world did great in expanding the horizons and scope the audience should have in viewing this as a series. Introducing new story ingredients such as the Cranks in emphasize, and finally materializing the WCKD as object to put the major blame is a move that the audience awaits, especially for those like me who haven't touched the book yet. But as a standalone movie, the movie sure has those things as its major flaw, especially if we put them in comparison to the first movie. The Maze Runner (2014) was thick with the environment's mystery, story unpredictability and also strong tensions in character relationships. I really like how the movie focused on the competition between the Gladers whereas they should be cooperating.
But this movie is devoid of those three things. The environment still has an awe factor, but it's all about the CGI. The environment in this movie literally lost its charm, gets linear and easily anticipated. The only cool place is where Thomas helps Brenda by breaking the window. The story also gets so linear that it became quite predictable for me. The worst is the tensions in character relationships wither into just puny arguments between Thomas and Newt. The last twist with Teresa is surely predictable when you link Teresa being called on her first day and the fact that WCKD finds Jorge's place very easily. The acting overall is just at the same level with The Maze Runner, nothing that special. Dylan O'Brien, Ki Hong Lee, Thomas Brodie- Sangster, and Kaya Scodelario did nothing more than reprising their roles, minus the tensions their character had in the first movie. I'm in fact quite taken by Aidan Gillen's role which hold the mystery level so not to seep out entirely off this movie. Patricia Clarkson and Nathalie Emmanuel's roles may hold more potential for the third installment.
My say for Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials (2015) is that it still retains its predecessor's score of 6 out of 10. A recommendation only goes out if you're, like me, someone who like to follow a story all to the end.