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MAZE RUNNER: THE SCORCH TRIALS

year: 2015 cast: Dylan O'Brien, Patricia Clarkson, Giancarlo Esposito Director: Wes Ball
It's difficult for adults to keep up with all these dystopian future teenage literary adaptations, from THE HUNGER GAMES to DIVERGENT to (the original) MAZE RUNNER, an action-packed version of what's usually a doomed-romance thriller. Following a chosen group of youngsters to run a dangerous course that very few can survive, what you see is what you get, including formidable robotic spiders. At the end, the kids wind up behind-the-scenes, sort of...

And now in this fairly decent, more intriguing and adventurous sequel, using the popular "learning something new every step of the way twist" element, if counting how many times the characters get painted in a corner and then escape at the very... last... second, you'd simply lose count. But what separates SCORCH TRIALS from THE MAZE RUNNER are the number of locations: Instead of just a grass field outside a collection of gigantic cement walls, there's an underground military fortress beneath a vast desert leading to distant mountains where, in-between, is a giant warehouse with gnarly human "creatures" reminiscent of those on a popular television series, a seedy rave, and other destinations – making this more of a journey than just plain exercise.

RATING: ***1/2
REVIEW OF THE MAZE RUNNER
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