Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials movie full length review - Not having read the book versions, cinema-wise 'Scorch' a different but great follow up.
When we last left off in (2014) 'The Maze Runner', Thomas (Dylan O'Brien) and the remaining clan of youths whom managed to escape the ever evolving maze, were seemingly rescued from an abandoned science laboratory by a band of armed rebels.
If you've wondered where exactly the rescued are being flown to by the helicopter at the conclusion of that film, the answer lies in the recently released second installment of the trilogy, 'The Scorch Trials'.
Upon landing in an apocalypses world of wasteland and chaotic battle of people, the clan is rushed into an enormous security facility, in which a high tech vault door shuts behind them shielding them from all the dangers of the outside world. Upon meeting, Mr. Janson (Aidan Gillen) whom is the head of the facility, he explains that they are here among many other survivors from similar mazes. The clan's secure feelings of being in a safe haven become short lived when circumstances reveal to Thomas that Mr. Janson is not who he makes himself out to be. Discovering that the clan and all the other youths are being targeted and set up as guinea pigs again for another test due to their immunity to the world-wide virus outside, the clan escapes; only to enter a world almost beyond recognition. Running away in a big city lost in sand and rubble, they also fight for survival from bizarre weather occurrences caused by the solar flare epidemic explained to them in the end of 'The Maze Runner'. They embark on a journey where they must seek to build alliances with apocalypse survivors; however having the shaky task of trying to discern who really is good and who is bad.
What I particularly loved most of all in the world that director Wes Ball has created was the exterior settings. Unless I missed it, there has never been mention of how long ago the world's fallout was supposed to have occurred. However; in contrast to many apocalypse themed movies where you find empty damaged cities with freeways with old cars frozen in space on the roads long abandoned, the wastelands here reminds me of the ancient ruins you'd find of Rome. Freeway overpasses are only half in place, skyscrapers look like building skeletons, and tall bridges are sunken into tower high piles of sand. While I've always got the vibe that since film number 1 that the fallout occurred as long as a century ago, the visuals seems to suggest of what America might look like thousands of years from now if it were to fall.
Like many science fiction movies that are made for entertainment but also has undertone spiritual or political themes that not everyone may catch onto, for me, 'The Scorch Trials' seemed to have some themes that are relevant in today's society. I will restrain myself from pacifically declaring what theme that would be since I believe it would clue off too much of a spoiler about plot, but for the time being, think about that old rationalizations philosophy by some people who believe the bad things must be done for the greater good. While there are many eerie far-fetched things that you will experience in seeing what happens to humans inflicted with the solar flare virus, Ava Paige (Patricia Clarkson) whom works amongst scientists, brings to surface something that could be seen as a plausible scenario in the far future of America. I believe that what this character wants to do in this story, echoes an issues that you will find in today's media in a much smaller scale.
Along with the already great established cast, two interesting new actors show up in portraying both the antagonist and uncertain antagonist. Probably best known for the slick, charming manipulative character, Littlefinger in HBO's current hit, 'Games of Thrones', Aidan Gillen nicely plays one of the head men from the lab who puts on two faces. Then there is Giancarlo Esposito whose been playing projected bad guys in TV over the last several years: such as the rebel and militant Tom Neville in (2012-2014) 'Revolution', the iconic double personality Gus Fring in seasons 2- 4 in AMC's, (2008-2013) 'Breaking Bad', and even time to time appears in ABC as Sidney Glass/Magic Mirror in (2011- ) 'Once Upon a Time'. Here Esposito plays a personality who wrestles between antagonist and protagonist as an ally of the youth clan.
If you are like me whose been waiting to see this film until the last minute, now would be the time to see it; as it is now appearing to me that the lifespan torch of 'The Scorch Trials) is about to get snubbed out in the town I live in. Personally, I enjoyed the first 'Maze Runner' a little bit more than this new installment probably because the maze was such a mystical place of mystery. However; I did at the same time find it just as enjoyable.