This one's worth skipping.

This one’s worth skipping.

Seen worse, seen better.

Seen worse, seen better.

Young adults and hardcore Hunger Games and/or Divergent fans rejoice, for the totes adorbs teenagers who starred in their own line of young adult sci-fi literature this decade are back. Back to answer the questions raised in the obvious sequel-setup that was the first Maze Runner film and make us understand its world a bit more. Or, so we had hoped.

I can understand if filmmakers who know (or have deluded themselves into thinking) that a film will most surely get a sequel would want to go out of their way to make the first film a setup, almost a “prologue”, to make audiences hunger for more. Even so, it is a cheap thing to do and can cause the movie itself to feel boring and drawn-out, even moreso if we as filmgoers hate it so much that there’s not enough money in the end for the filmmaker to make that sequel we were promised.

But the worst scenario of all is – yep, you guessed it – when the sequel actually gets made and also feels like padding or filler. I’d say Maze Runner 2 technically fits into that category, although I did enjoy watching it more than, say, The Desolation of Smaug.

The film once again stars Dylan O’BrienThomas Brodie-Sangster, Ki Hong Lee, Kaya Scodelario and several more as the “Gladers”, so-called because they come from the Glade, a beautiful meadow surrounded by a giant, threatening maze. At this point, however, they have escaped the maze and are seeking answers as to who put them there and why. They’ll have to keep waiting, though, because first they’re required to dick around at a “safe haven” run by Aidan Gillen, who is actually in cahoots with the people in charge of this dystopian future, and go find a resistance group known as Right Arm, led by Barry Pepper. I can’t say I find any of this interesting enough for the film to make up for its lack of answered questions.

There are a few scenes with Patricia Clarkson that offer more hints as to what’s going on and we do learn that the maze in the first film was part of a much larger experiment but there is very little else besides action. The Scorch Trials does expand on the world seen in the first film, giving us new made-up names and creatures to memorize, which is cool and all, although it isn’t what I had hoped for. Whether or not the die-hard fans agree I could not tell you since I know very few who outright love this franchise.

This isn’t a horrible film (for one thing, I still love the visuals) but it’s so unamazing in so many regards that not only will I be rating it very high, but I also don’t feel like making this review a particularly long one. I’m going to settle for a mediocre 2.5/5 on this film, even though I might go rewatch it with two friends from high school later on, mostly because none of them were interested in seeing Black Mass or Everest with me. I am a man who makes sacrifices and who knows? I might just change my mind. Sadly, however, I fear I might like this film even less upon my potential second viewing. Until further notice, though, enjoy this trailer:

2.5/5 whatever

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