Whether you like the Maze Runner novels or last year’s film, this sequel promises more intrigue, action and destructive dangers — but will it survive fans’ ire?
At the end of the first Maze Runner film, our teenage heroes finally broke out of the glade that was surrounded by a giant maze, and discovered that they were subjects in an experiment by a mysterious organisation known as WCKD.
The motley band, led by Thomas (Dylan O’Brien), known as the Gladers, may have overcome the ever-shifting mechanical maze with diabolical spider-like creatures but will it be a classic case of “out of the frying pan and into the fire”?
In Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials, the proverbial fire is a hot, desolate landscape called The Scorch. You’ll soon see how it got its name.
Traitor threatens annihilation
After spending years plotting and repeatedly attempting their escape, you can imagine how tired the Gladers are, albeit relieved that they have finally escaped.
Finally out of the trap, they now find themselves in another devastating arena of lethal obstacles, one that truly pushes them right to the edge. You can be sure that tensions and distrust will boil over.
When they hit The Scorch, Thomas and his fellow Gladers meet another group called The Cranks. Our familiar heroes must now work with the new characters to survive the brutal terrain and unravel the mystery behind WCKD’s experiments.
Nonetheless, as we all know, things don’t always go as planned and a black sheep in the group complicates matters for everyone. How surprised will you be? You’ll just have to watch to find out.
Big changes from the book
The first Maze Runner movie opened to generally positive sentiment but also met with grievances from fans of the original novels, as it skipped several scenes that addressed vital information about the group members and WCKD.
Now, The Scorch Trials may come under even more fire for a similar ‘sin’. Film review site Movie Pilot stated that director Wes Ball has made a number of key changes to the plot, some radically different from the novels by James Dashner.
For instance, Thomas and fellow glader Teresa now have the ability to communicate telepathically. If you saw the first movie, you might recall how this ability was inferred from them having similar flashbacks.
Another change brought to the big screen is the return of big bad bully Gally, who appears to have survived from the first film. If you look closely in the second official trailer, he can be seen screaming from inside a water tank.
Lost in a maze of action?
With all these changes being introduced, it’s understandable that fans of the series fear that the story and character development may be overlooked in place of action. The trailers alone are chock-a-block with running, yelling and explosions.
Still, Dashner feels that the movie sequel retains “the mystery, the intrigue, characters themselves and the spectacle of the setting” from his novels, reported Movie Pilot.
If you can’t wait for the movie, the second official trailer also gives us a sneak peek into Thomas’ backstory, when he was separated from his mother as a young boy.
Can Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials navigate its own labyrinth of action and distracting teenage romance to carry through the suspenseful and poignant story and themes of the novels? From the looks of it, it’s a high possibility.
By Pamela Chow
Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials [PG]
Director: Wes Ball
Starring: Dylan O’Brien,
Thomas Brodie-Sangster & Giancarlo Esposito
Genre: Action, Adventure
Run Length: 132 min
Release: 10 Sep