Oh dear. It seems the young folk populating the dystopian near future of Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials have lost not only their parents, identities and memories, but also their sense of humour.
Grim-faced, earnest and incredibly fit, they realise the seemingly well meaning adults in lab coats with syringes wandering the halls of the sterile compound they find themselves in are probably not to be trusted, so orchestrate a mass breakout into the badlands surrounding the heavily fortified structure.
And thus begins this second instalment of the box office smash hit original which brought in ten times it’s budget on release exactly one year ago.
Following their successful escape from “The Glade” in the original, this film pits the teens against various adversaries including the aptly named WCKD organisation, zombies affiliated with the “Cranks”, and a harsh landscape that appears to have been the result of an environmental disaster.
With a running time of 131 minutes it’s a long time to spend watching teens battle the odds and still be no closer to a resolution of the many plot lines running through the series. I’m also at a loss to succinctly explain what exactly “The Scorch” is…..
With influences from post apocalyptic staples such as Mad Max and Terminator, and visual effects similar to the recent San Andreas, it is a spectacular film to see on the big screen and makes great use of it’s many sets and locations, including an abandoned shopping centre, a container ship in the desert, crumbling skyscrapers and a breathtaking electrical storm.
Whether these can distract an audience from the painfully slow storytelling is another matter.
2 & 1/2 Stars.