Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials (2015): The Continuation of Teen Angst, Starring Dylan O’Brien- PART 2, To Be Concluded In Almost 2.5 Years. Also, This is WCKD Boring

Hey everyone, Jack Drees here! Last week I reviewed “The Maze Runner,” and I’m letting you know about this because one, it feels appropriate, and two, just about nobody saw it. Sure, people saw “The Maze Runner” as in they saw the movie, but nobody clicked on my review. I’ll have a link down below to my review for “The Maze Runner,” and if you’re lucky enough, you’ll be one of the first people to check it out! This week, I’m going to be following up on my “Maze Runner” review I did last week and I’ll be showing you all my thoughts on “Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials,” as suggested in the title of this post. A title so stupid that it’s nearly a copypaste of the title to my first “Maze Runner” review, but with more s*it sprinkled into it. Enough with that, let’s start the review!

“THE MAZE RUNNER” REVIEW:¬†https://scenebefore.wordpress.com/2018/01/18/the-maze-runner-2014-the-continuation-of-teen-angst-starring-dylan-obrien/

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“Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials” is directed by Wes Ball, who also directed the first “Maze Runner” installment, and stars Dylan O’Brien (The Internship, Teen Wolf), Kaya Scodelario (Now Is Good, The Truth About Emanuel), and Thomas Brodie-Sangster (Love, Actually, Phineas and Ferb) and is the sequel to “The Maze Runner,” which came out one year prior to this installment, and is based on a popular teen angst book by James Dashner. Now that the Gladers we know from the first movie are out of the maze, they have to deal with a new landscape, with new obstacles. And this landscape looks like it’s seen some s*it.

When it comes to the first “Maze Runner,” I really enjoyed the movie for what it was. It’s a lighthearted teen angst movie with a bunch of folks trapped in a maze, trying to get out. Several moments had me glued to the screen, and now that these people are out of the maze, the question is, what’s next? This movie goes into that. In honest truth, I can barely tell you what comes next, because this movie. Was. Boring as f*ck! The first “Maze Runner” was engaging and entertaining, and while the first forty minutes of this thing is quite the same way, although maybe not as much, it just didn’t work out in the end. I actually saw ads for this film in 2015, and I haven’t seen the first installment to this series yet, but I knew about it and everything. Compared to the first film, this looked uninspired, and looked like it was there to have something happen as filler before the last film. I’m not entirely against the young adult genre, there is some good stuff that has come out of it. Although this is one major example of the bad. While not as intolerable as “The Fifth Wave,” I certainly can’t say this had a likable feel to it.

Don’t get me wrong, the vibe that’s present for the movie kind of works. Most of it is in a desolate landscape and given the music, story, not to leave out the motivations and attitudes of the characters, I’d say everything was logical. Although as far as the movie’s progression goes, that’s where the weaknesses start to pour in. This movie honestly, as I watched it, felt like a cash-in. I don’t know how much planning went into this particular installment, nor do I know how much planning went into writing the book for it, but if the book was lazy, the laziness of this movie therefore wouldn’t be all that surprising. I mean, I know the sequel was planned because of the semi-cliffhanger ending the first film gave, but it doesn’t change how poor the execution here was.

The first forty minutes, as mentioned, were entertaining to me. In fact, you know how this movie is called “The Scorch Trials?” Basically the Scorch is what the desolate landscape is called. Everything that happens prior to getting towards the scorch scenes was the entertaining chunk of the movie. As I got to the Scorch portion of the film, I wanted to take out my phone and do something on there instead of watch the movie. I assure you whatever it was I did on my phone, was ten times as fun as the movie. You might as well say that as we got to the scorch scenes, my mind was instantly “scorched” by Dullivan, the god of boredom. Even one or two fast paced chase scenes couldn’t keep me intrigued. I tried my best not to fall asleep, and while I succeeded, I can’t say I feel like I benefited from this experience.

I was however engaged by the ending. While part of it was predictable, I was constantly thinking to myself, when was this s*it going to conclude? I wanted to do something that would have been worth my time. I won’t go into much detail, but it was a big turnaround for my interest towards the film. I got engaged for a moment, but it wasn’t enough for me to say this film is competent.

This film once again stars Dylan O’Brien, or for this movie to make sense, Dullen O’Brien. He’s not a bad actor and once again, I buy him as this teenager. He does a fine job playing Thomas and the transition from one movie to the next was very fluid. During the first forty minutes, I was able to root for this guy not to mention with those alongside him. Even though this movie is wicked boring. Whoops! Sorry, I meant, WCKD boring.

I can’t even talk about this movie anymore! I honestly want to have more to say, but in the long run, I have to stop here! I’ve been running this maze too long and it’s time to collapse in fetal position! If you think that I’m lazy for not going on, let me just remind you that this movie felt lazy so it all comes together! So yeah, this movie sucked, it was boring, and that’s pretty much the gist of it. Badabing badabang badaboom.

Guys, if you can’t tell by how much I wanted to get this review off my belt, I hated this movie. “Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials” is yet another flop in the young adult genre and I just hope that when it comes to “The Death Cure,” I don’t have a similar experience. When it comes to teen angst movies, this may not be the most horrible of every single one I watched, but it might be the most boring. I only described one character! You know why I did that? Because this movie f*cking sucks and I hate talking about it! Part of me doesn’t even want to rate it! But rules are rules, I gotta rate this bitch. I’m gonna give “Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials” a 3/10. Once again, if you watch this movie, chances are you won’t be totally bored through the whole thing, but there’s barely any good parts in it. I have never read the “Scorch Trials” book, but I imagine it’s better than this junk. Thanks for reading perhaps one of my most intentionally lazy reviews ever despite having a descriptive title. I barely survived the horrendous killer maze that was “Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials,” and in the end, that’s what really matters. This weekend, I hope to see “Maze Runner: The Death Cure” and I just hope for humanity that it’s better than this movie, or at the very least, just a good movie. Although this is a January film and if you know how movies are, January is a s*itshow. Stay tuned for that review and more great content! I want to know, did you see “Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials?” What did you think about it? Did you read the book? What did you think about that? How would you compare the two pieces of work alongside each other? Let me know in the comments! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

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The Maze Runner (2014): The Continuation of Teen Angst, Starring Dylan O’Brien

Hey everyone, Jack Drees here! In 2014, one movie I kind of wanted to see was “The Maze Runner,” unfortunately, I never got around to watching it. Although a few months ago I was buying a number of Blu-rays at one of my personal favorite shops around the mall, AKA Newbury Comics, and I managed to come across “The Maze Runner” and “Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials. I still went on for months after buying them without watching either one of the films. That however, has changed. On January 26th, “Maze Runner: The Death Cure” will hit theaters. Appropriately, I felt I should review the first “Maze Runner” and the second “Maze Runner.” Since I’m a chronological type of person, we’re gonna kick this series off by talking about the first “Maze Runner.” Without further ado, let’s start the review.

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“The Maze Runner” is directed by Wes Ball who has mainly done work in the film industry in the realms of art and visual effects. Aside from a few short films, this is pretty much the guy’s directorial debut. This movie stars Dylan O’Brien (Teen Wolf, The Internship), Kaya Scoldelario (Now Is Good, The Truth About Emanuel), and Will Poulter (We’re the Millers, Son of Rambow). “The Maze Runner” is about a youngish boy who is brought into this green, limited realm. He meets a group of men who tries to get him to adapt to the way things are. However, there is a way out (sort of). There is a maze separating this realm from the outside world. “Runners” are searching inside it every day, trying to find a way out. It’s at a point when this youngish boy learns about all of this, when he desires to join the runners.

This movie came out in 2014, it’s based on a book by James Dashner, and one thing I noticed about not only the 2010s decade, but perhaps slightly before this particular decade began, is how many popular young adult teen angst novels were being adapted into movies. Some examples include “Twilight,” “The Hunger Games,” “Harry Potter,” “Percy Jackson,” “The Chronicles of Narnia,” etc. I’ve seen a number of these, and no, “Twilight” wasn’t one of them. Thank goodness! While some of these young adult novels might fall under say the romance or fantasy genres, one concept that has applied a lot to recently popularized young adult books is the sci-fi dystopian element. This has been extremely evident with the worldwide phenomenon known as “The Hunger Games.”

I’ll be honest with you, I read the first “Hunger Games” book in the summer of 2012, and I don’t even recall making it a quarter of the way through the whole thing. I watched the movie, and while it wasn’t bad the first time watching it, the film got worse over more watches and the more I thought about it. The second film’s good, but I’ve yet to see “Mockingjay” parts 1 & 2, because as of now, I no desire to pay for two parts.

There’s a series that relates to this called “Divergent,” and I haven’t read the books for that. I enjoyed the first movie, I thought the second one was slightly better, but the third one sucked. As for the third movie, this is yet another case of splitting a book into two parts, and I’m wondering if that’s partially why the movie didn’t do well in terms of reactions and returns at the box office. Oh yeah, also don’t forget the rather dull story, annoying characters, and crappy CGI. One of the biggest problems I have with the movies however is that Tris keeps changing her hair. What’s up with that?!

People often consider “Divergent” a ripoff of “The Hunger Games,” but that’s simply not true. Both have corrupt governments and are futuristic, but just tinker around with them a little bit and you’ll see the differences underneath. “The Hunger Games” is an event that involves fighting to the death whereas “Divergent” is simply about a girl in a certain class that society doesn’t like. As for “The Maze Runner,” it’s got some similarities to both “The Hunger Games” and “Divergent.” However, as far as the book goes, “The Maze Runner” came out before “Divergent,” so you can technically say “Divergent” has similarities to “The Maze Runner” and “The Hunger Games.” All three books involve a post-apocalyptic world with a nasty regime, there’s a teen who has to fight against the overlords, and they’re all tested. The similarities are significant in all three films. However, I think out of “The Hunger Games,” “Divergent,” and “The Maze Runner,” I have to say I think “The Maze Runner” may be the best film of the three. This doesn’t say much about the book, but as a film, this one likely reigns supreme.

What I just said doesn’t mean “The Maze Runner” is a masterpiece, I just think it’s an enjoyable flick that could help you pass the time for a couple of hours. Since I have that out of the way, let’s get into some problems.

Pacing wise, this movie is mostly competent, you can follow everything quite well, and your eyes will be stuck to the screen for a long time.¬† However, as the movie gets towards the end, I have to say that there’s a point, specifically when a screen comes on and everybody’s listening, that the pacing just goes off for a second. I don’t know how others feel about that but that’s how I feel. I will say though, without spoiling much of anything, the movie has to do something in particular, and that thing in particular is what caused the drag for me.

One little nitpick, and I don’t know if this was an idea that the book’s author had, or if it was a director, or an editor, or who it could have possibly been that had this vision, but there are these enemies that you see in the film. They’re called Grievers. As enemies, they are serviceable and I don’t really have much that’s significantly wrong with them, but thinking about them, they almost look like ripoffs of the Xenomorphs from the “Alien” franchise. I’m surprised I’ve even said that because believe it or not I haven’t watched one “Alien” movie.

Dylan O’Brien plays the main character of Thomas throughout “The Maze Runner,” and I’d say that the character was well written, and I’d say having gone through the movie, O’Brien’s a nice pick to play the character. Granted, I can tell they probably cast Dylan O’Brien mainly because girls have a crush on him since he’s on “Teen Wolf” and if you know what the show is, you’d understand my point. To my happiness, the script focused less on his physique and more on his hope to become a runner and leave the maze. That remains true for every single one of the movies characters, which is just rather refreshing. Speaking of refreshing, there’s not much romance in this film. There is friendship, there is interaction, but there’s never any romance. And in a world where that is prominent in both the “Hunger Games” and “Divergent” franchises, that is awesome.

I really like the scene in the film where we first meet Thomas and he forgets his real name. The way he finds out is kind of hilarious. Basically, we meet him, it’s daytime, we are introduced to the Gladers, and soon, night arrives, we see a bunch of boys around a campfire. Thomas is in a fight, and as he is fighting, he’s getting his butt kicked, and all of a sudden, he remembers his name is Thomas, announces it in front of all the boys, and everyone is just exclaiming to the tenth degree. Pure hilarity.

As for another standout character, we have the big bad bully, Gally, played by Will Poulter. While Thomas is just trying to save everyone, Gally would occasionally interfere, saying that Thomas needs to be punished. I must say, this is good choice from a casting perspective, and I’m not saying this is a negative despite coming off as repetitive, he kind of looks like bullies we’ve seen in the past in terms of what’s happened in TV and movies. Just compare him with characters such as Biff from “Back to the Future” or Buzz from “Home Alone” and you’ll see what I’m talking about.

In the end, I’d say “The Maze Runner” is a really enjoyable film for what it is. It has some of the teen angst cliches, but at the same time, is a little more lighthearted in ways making it feel like you can have fun watching the movie. I have nothing against dark and gritty films, but in reality, that’s how a majority of teen angst films seem to come off. If you have never seen “The Maze Runner,” I do recommend it. I don’t know what to say about the book, or how much you’ll like the movie if you’ve read the book. I just know they’re not exactly the same. I’m going to give “The Maze Runner” a 7/10. Thanks for reading this review! I’m going to have my review up for the second part of the “Maze Runner” trilogy next Thursday, January 25th, which is also the night of the early screenings of the final installment, “Maze Runner: The Death Cure.” So stay tuned for my review of “Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials,” along with more exciting content coming your way. I want to know, did you watch “The Maze Runner?” What are your thoughts? Did you read the book? Which is better? The book or the movie? Let me know your thoughts down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!