For a director to go from the highly praised insightful drama “Beginners” to the medium rated action film “The Maze Runner” is notable in a career. Wes Ball is one to take note of. In the second film of the franchise, “Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials,” he has crafted a film much more busy than the first but lacking any visible moral stance. This is surprising given the strong pro homosexual stance in “Beginners.” It’s a proud film that promoted acceptance of gays and the dreams of others. But back to Maze Runner: I found myself at the end of the first film in the franchise excited to see the next one. It was like the end of a black and white superhero serial tv show. ie; “Don’t miss next week when Buck Rodgers tackles an octopus to save the day!” After watching that, you were more than excited to see what happens! Unfortunately, the second film Scorch Trials didn’t live up to the hype for me.
The characters were underdeveloped and the story rolled out with a very typical and overused technique. The method is “I know the ending, you don’t. So I will reveal a little more for you each scene but never the whole thing until the end.” A non-example of this technique of storytelling is the Columbo method. In Columbo episodes, we see the killer long before the end. Columbo is the one who discovers clues and we enjoy watching him figure out what we already know. I like his method a lot better. I suppose the “Maze Runner” method only can work when the things revealed are interesting. In the interest of avoiding spoilers I will only say the secrets are contemporary twists and themes. In particular, one of them is currently saturated and overused in film and television. I was surprised to see it used in the storyline. If you prefer to avoid the spoiler, don’t read any further. Spoiler sentence below:
Kids, there are zombies (yes, it’s true) that bite humans and then the bitten “turn.”