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Spoiler Free Chick Review: Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials



Stars: Dylan O'Brien, Kaya Scodelario, Thomas Brodie-Sangster
Theatrical Release Date: September 18, 2015
Synopsis: 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.
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The Good

Suspenseful. Intriguing plot. Lots of action.

The Bad

Lots of characters introduced without much development. No breakout performances.

Bottom Line

The Scorch Trials has all the elements for a great action movie: good source material, intriguing plot line, danger and suspense, but sometimes the acting falls a little flat.

Posted September 29, 2015 by

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In the continuing saga of The Maze Runner, we see Thomas and his fellow Gladers facing a steady stream of dangers from seemingly everyone (and everything) they meet outside of the Maze.

The movie opens with a series of broken memories as Thomas adjusts to his abrupt liberation we witnessed at the end of The Maze Runner. He and the Gladers are being taken to a facility where they are promised an eventual trip to a paradise, of sorts. Only nothing is what it seems, and they’ll discover…. the Scorch is certainly no paradise.

I had wondered going in if this 2+ hour movie would suffer the lag that most lengthy movies fall victim to, but one thing The Scorch Trials delivers is a lot of action. From the Gladers’ arrival at a new compound, to their encounters with “cranks”, to their dealings with gangs and crooks, and the ever-present threat of being recaptured by WCKD, there is no shortage of trouble for Thomas and his friends to face. I usually read a book before I watch the movie adaptation, but this time I didn’t. Now I’m suddenly eager to remedy that, just to see if the book is as exciting as the movie!

I am glad my youngest daughter (11) read the book first, however, because she was prepared for the more frightening and suspenseful parts, which largely feature “cranks” (people who succumbed to a sickness that turns them into a zombie-like creature). I’m told in the book cranks are more ‘homicidal and insane’ than ‘zombie-like’… which is…less frightening?? All I know is that they are some scary dudes, and if your child is young, they may not be ready for some of the scenes in this movie. Besides the cranks, there is plenty of other disturbing imagery. I wouldn’t take young children (even though there were some in the theater when we went) unless you want to explain scenes that hint at torture, drug use, and suicide. It’s nothing graphic, but I have to think it’s a little mature for the young’uns. Also, there’s a bit of language (“hell” and “damn” about 4 times and “shit” once).

All told, it’s an entertaining movie, though it left me with some questions. There were some characters whose backstories were very vague, a lot of new faces were introduced and quickly became forgettable, but ultimately it left me wanting to see more. I’m a sucker for a little mystery (who is WCKD and what caused the Scorch?), and there are 2 books after Scorch Trials in the series! (But more on that later…)

It’s not necessarily a “must see”, but it’s definitely an entertaining action flick with a decent plot, though maybe it suffers a little in the acting. I enjoy watching movies with my kids, and I would have found it a bit too much for my youngest had she not been expecting the scary elements, but she’s the reason we now own the Maze Runner series and the first movie. We saw The Scorch Trials for her birthday, at her request, and it kept my teenagers and I on the edges of our seats (which I’m sure she enjoyed as much as the movie itself!).


Book nerd, coffee drinker, and mom of three with a weakness for action movies and swaggering space cowboys. Grumpy Cat is my spirit animal.