Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials review

TWhen the title appears on screen at the beginning of this follow-up to last year's YA dystopian thriller it merely states The Scorch Trials. There's no mention of Maze Runner. That's cos the boys (and the lone girl of course) have left the maze and it no longer features in the story. Picking up exactly where it finished last time, they are ushered into a top secret facility run by suspicious Gillen – nice to see this first class actor doing junk for once.

Soon they realise that he and his organisation is not the kind benefactor they had first thought. After a plucky escape they then experience the outside world of the ravaged earth, peopled with energetic zombies who give chase to them. It plays like a knock-off of both Romero's oeuvre as well as The Walking Dead as they race from one violent faction to another.

That's really all this overlong action thriller consists of – slickly edited set pieces with the team in various displays of jeopardy with odd intervals for clunky exposition. There's nothing particularly engaging about it all as no one character is given any personality to shine with. The boys are all much of a muchness working together in their perilous scrapes. Unlike the first instalment there are no rivalries or jealousies this time around to make them seem interesting.

There are certainly exciting moments at times though but the episodic narrative goes on forever and after a while the numerous skirmishes become increasingly tiresome. It suffers from one climax too many, ending up a somewhat exhausting enterprise, watchable enough, but hardly whetting the appetite for Part 3. 

Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials at IMDb

Stuart O'Connor is the Managing Editor of Screenjabber, the movie review website he co-founded with Neil Davey far too many years ago. He likes all genres, as long as the film is good (although he does enjoy the occasional bad "guilty pleasure"), and drinks way too much coffee.

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