Now Showing: Scorch Trials

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Pauline Villegas , Asst. A&E Editor

When “Maze Runner” first came out, the film left most viewers wondering what would happen next. If you didn’t read the books, you might have even left the theater a bit annoyed due to the constant overflow of information.

Unfortunately, after watching “Maze Runner: Scorch Trials,” I left with the exact same feeling. With every question answered, another one is asked. Despite the fact that the cast was likeable and their acting believable, the plot left me feeling like I would never understand the whole truth.  

The second installment of the “Maze Runner” book series, “Scorch Trials” follows Thomas (Dylan O’Brien) as he leads his friends to a better world. Throughout their many obstacles, they learn more about themselves and the “truth.” If you enjoyed the first one, this is a must-see.

In the first movie, Thomas was sent into a maze filled with flesh-eating monsters and about fifty other teenage boys, with his memory wiped clean, unaware of who he was. After regaining some of his memory, he began noticing patterns in the maze’s behavior. Eventually Thomas and the others find a way to beat the maze and are led into a futuristic lab. There, they are saved by a corporation that promised them safety- or so they think.

The sequel follows directly in the first movies footsteps by placing exactly where part one left off. Thomas and his rag-tag group of friends are brought by helicopter to a bunker where other kids from different mazes are waiting. While waiting, they are told about the disease that virtually wiped out the entire planet known as “The Flare.” The World Catastrophe Killzone Department (WCKD) took immune kids from their families and placed them in the maze in order to test their abilities and provide the world a cure.

Janson, the man that saved them from the maze, promises to take the kids to a safe place where the disease can no longer affect them. Due to vague responses and questionable motives, Thomas does not trust Janson and begins his search for the truth.

With the help of Aris, another refuge from a different maze, Thomas and his friends break out of the prison. From here they must get past the apocalyptic desert known as “The Scorch” and the zombie-like people that were affected by the disease. As they are fighting the elements, they must also be on the lookout for WCKD which wants them back in order to create more of their precious vaccine.

Although there are many questions throughout the movie, hardly any of them were answered by the end. The director, Wes Ball, explained in interviews that he did not want viewers to understand everything before the third movie. However, the lack of explanation left me feeling confused and somewhat upset over how much I did not grasp.

The acting was quite convincing and O’Brien is a perfect fit for the role of Thomas. Their costumes followed the theme of the movie, which was a teenage version of the classic apocalyptic series “Mad Max.” The setting, which looks like the ruins of Los Angeles or New York, fit in perfectly with the extremity of the disease and the survivors that live within it.

There were also a couple of romantic scenes involving Thomas and his old love interest Teresa, (Kaya Scodelario) and his new love interest Brenda (Rosa Salazar). Brenda shows up when Thomas and his friends need a place to hide out from WCKD. Although she questions his motives, they end up helping each other in the hopes of finding a better home.  

Overall, I enjoyed the movie. The plot, although hard to follow, left me feeling so confused that I feel forced to return and watch the third film. The movie’s spirited cast and true-to-life acting made it somewhat enjoyable. It left me wondering what was going to happen next and I will definitely return for the next movie in the hopes of getting my questions answered.