Movie: The Scorch Trials
I’ve really been on a roll this fall with my movie attendance. I suppose it has something to do with all the renovations that have been going on in my house. I have to go somewhere when I’m not working to escape the construction workers who come tramping through my home every day around eight o’clock. And, there’s only so much you can loiter at your local coffee shop before the baristas start to worry that you might be homeless. So, another afternoon at the movies! I had rented the first film in this series, and I wasn’t completely disappointed by it. And, that’s as good an endorsement as any when you’re looking to kill a few hours. So, I was willing to follow these scrappy, young men through another post-apocalyptic hellscape.
This second movie is paced very differently from the first one. Maze Runner was more of a mystery. The boys had to figure out why they’ve been deposited into a miniature farm in the middle of a giant maze, and why they’ve had their memories completely wiped. In this movie, the lads already know that they’re screwed. Now they just have to figure out who they can trust as they’re running away. And, they’re running away from a lot of people. First, there’s WICKED (headed by the always-evil Patricia Clarkson). These are the guys who originally put the boys in the maze. Then, there are all the ruthless opportunists living out in the wastelands, looking to take advantage of whomever they can. And finally, there’s the Cranks, the vicious, frothing, zombie creatures who hunger for human flesh. These are people who were infected with the virus that destroyed civilization, and they’re scary. They’ve got everything that’s bad about a zombie—the decay, the hunger, the indivertible drive to get their hands on you—and then they’re fast. These are sprinting zombies…like in 28 Days Later. As if these boys didn’t have enough to worry about already.
So, what I’m saying is that this movie is tense. The boys are never safe for long before they’re running away from yet another menace. It won’t ever let you relax into the story. And, that can be fun if you’re in the mood for it. It gets the blood pumping. I mean, this isn’t a great movie. It’s thoroughly medium in its entertainment value. But, I was still interested in continuing with the series. So, go ahead and watch this second installment if you liked the first. It’s a pretty low bar.