I have to admit I wasn't terribly excited to see The Scorch Trials, the second film in The Maze Runner trilogy. I didn't love the book series by James Dashner and the first film, The Maze Runner, was just okay. However, I was pleasantly surprised with this film. Not because it was a great film, but because it was just fun! And by fun I mean I literally screamed on several occasions. There is quite a bit of heart-stopping action and some very exciting chase scenes.
"You ever get the feeling the whole world is against you?" ~ The Scorch Trials
I'll remind my readers this review is to offer guidance to parents and is not necessarily a critique of the film or it's adaptation to the screen.I am including this film in my Family Movie Reviews because the young adult novels were very popular among middle and high school students. However, I strongly caution parents!
Which brings me to the rating. The Scorch Trials is rated PG-13 for extended sequences of violence and action, some thematic elements, substance use and language. What does that mean specifically? There is a lot of gun violence and explosions, a complex plot, and what I consider mild language (typical of PG-13 films).
But the biggest reason I caution parents? The Cranks! The Cranks are zombie-like creatures, people who have contracted the Flare virus. They were the reason for my screams, and the reason my 11 year old was hiding under a blanket at one point (The danger of not watching a film before allowing your kids to see it!) Both sons said they were going to have nightmares. Be prepared - even if your tween/teen read the books, Cranks are much scarier when brought to life!
If you do not know anything about this series, it focuses on a futuristic dystopian society that is struggling for survival after civilization as we know it has been destroyed AND a deadly virus (the Flare) threatens to wipe out all of the human race. After escaping The Glade at the end of the first film, a controlled environment used by doctors and scientists to try and save humanity, our group of remaining main characters led by Thomas (played by Dylan O'Brien), must now question who to trust as they try to survive the Scorch, the vast desert earth has now become, in search of help and truth. Overall, the series deals with the themes of ethical dilemmas and betrayal.
Watch Official Trailer
If you haven't read the novels OR at least seen the first film, I do not recommend it as you will be lost. The Scorch Trials is primarily a bridge to the third installment in this saga, The Death Cure, due out in theaters in 2017.
Read my review of The Maze Runner here and check out my other Family Movie Reviews.