The Maze Runner series is back with its much-expected sequel, Maze Runner: Scorch Trials. Anticipated by YA fans around the world, the film based on the second book of the New York Times bestselling trilogy by James Dashner is finally here to continue the story of teenagers Thomas (Dylan O’Brien), Theresa (Kaya Scodelario), Newt (Thomas Brodie-Sangster) and Minho (Ki Hong Lee). This second movie follows the characters after having escaped the famous maze, as they face the dangers that await them in the Scorch: an apocalyptic Earth overrun by “the Flare”, a disease that slowly turns people into zombie-like creatures, a.k.a. Cranks.
Thomas, who still does not know much about where he comes from and what he is doing in the Scorch, escapes from WCKD, an organisation that claims to be able to cure the Flare. However, in order to do so they need to find a cure, which they plan to do by experimenting on several teenagers to find a pattern in their brain behaviour. Once in the Scorch, the group encounters many things and people, including a great deal of Cranks and duo Brenda (Rosa Salazar) and Jorge (Giarcarlo Esposito) who are part of a rebellious organisation called the Right Arm. Then there is Thomas trying to understand his feelings for Theresa, which is however not as apparent.
There were several issues with this film, and the biggest one being that it did not follow the storyline of the book it was based on. Characters were added (e.g. a certain Mary Cooper was added to the Right Arm), the Scorch is no longer a “trial”, causing the film to have a very peculiar name to people who are not familiar with the books, and where is that Theresa-Thomas telepathy everyone had been hoping for?? Listing the differences between the book and its film adaption would take hours, days, weeks even, because they are just nothing like each other. All these changes leave the fans wondering “Why?!”, because they were all very unnecessary.
The film in itself might not have been terrible; in fact, the special effects are quite impressive, and the near-death experiences have your heart pounding faster. However, when said film is based on a bestseller trilogy, it is unlikely that many of the viewers decided to watch that film without having read the book. The alterations made it close to impossible to enjoy the film, leaving very little room for a real connection with the characters, though that did not much seem to be the case in the books either. If you are not one of the fans who has read the book, by all means, go see the film. If you are, be warned, there is a big chance that you will be let down.
-Femke & Catalina