Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials

I'm wondering if this is going to be the latest conversation starter. "So, how about that young adult post-apocalyptic trilogy of your choice?" It even works for books and movies, so it's perfect, right? As I've said about the first installment of this series, they're all starting to blur together somewhat and the problem isn't likely to get any better, but there have been worse trends, I suppose.

All the survivors are back from the first one, and thank goodness that this series, at least, doesn't go crazy with the flashbacks / dreams / computer simulations featuring dead characters. Okay, there is one dream sequence, but nothing excessive. As you may recall, the last movie ended with them being rescued, or rather 'rescued', since there's an entire third movie after this one so they can't possibly be safe yet. They end up in some sort of bunker that's run by Mr. Jansen (Aidan Gillen, Game of Thrones) and the whole place is so obviously a set-up I can't believe any of these kids fall for it. I guess this is what happens when there are no longer suspense / thriller movies to keep people on their toes. That silly apocalypse thing again.

Anyway, the next thing they know they're in the Scorch, which is an apt name for a desert that seems to cover most of the planet. I'm still trying to figure out how WCKD can still have the technology and the electrical power for the things they do, not the least of which is using an entire wall as a Skype screen. They're just one-percenters, I guess, and they're hoarding everything. But the kids hear something about the "Right Arm", which WCKD doesn't like. Hoping that this means that the Right Arm will therefore welcome refugees from WCKD, they head out in search of them.

First Alan Tudyk (Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter) gives them the runaround, and then Jorge (Giancarlo Esposito, Alex Cross) says he knows how to find them and off they go, with Brenda (Rosa Salazar from Insurgent, though I have to admit I don't remember her from there) also along for the ride.

There's lots of explosions and fighting, which is another thing all these young adult post-apocalyptic trilogies (YAPAT?) have in common, getting more violent as they go. Oh, and there are zombies, or at least really ill people acting like zombies, which was a bit out of left field for me. Anyway, I'm no longer sure how closely the movies follow the Maze Runner books but the film did have a decent plot twist -- I saw it coming but I still didn't believe it until it happened -- and was generally quite entertaining. So we'll go with three and three-quarters, just like the first. It will be less confusing when the YAPAT trend is over, but it might not be a good thing otherwise.

The kids run over a fallen building. It never actually happens, but looks cool.


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