Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials

STORY: The human population is fast moving towards extinction. So, will a bunch of valiant teenagers be able to survive the virus that is turning men into zombies?

MOVIE REVIEW: 2014’s The Maze Runner ended on a thunderous note with a State agency assuming the responsibility of eradicating the homicidal virus which transforms people into zombies. In this edition, the story picks up from there and unravels the survival journey of a bunch of kids after they escape from the underground paramilitary accommodation where they were put up after being rescued. A large part of the narrative is devoted to keeping the element of mystery consistent.

In many ways, Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials is a lot more accomplished than its first part. For starters, it has a more coherent story to its credit and evokes a relentless sense of urgency in every frame. Its novice actors brilliantly bring out the overpowering element of uncertainty. Painting an intriguingly dystopian picture with a catastrophe looming large over their heads, the film’s pacey narrative also keeps you hooked.

The only flaw in TS Nowlin’s otherwise imaginative screenplay is the lack of a convincing backstory. Blaming human extinction on a large hole in the ozone layer doesn’t validate the extinction of the human species. It seems too simplistic a theory to explain how people turn into zombies just because of the Earth’s shooting temperatures. How the atmospheric deterioration is connected with the deadly virus is never elucidated either, which is a glaring glitch.

The piquant chase sequences and Dylan O’Brien’s go-fight attitude, makes up for the discrepancies by infusing steadiness in the film. He is beautifully understated in his performance and balances the movie on his shoulders alone.

Another place where the film nullifies its odds is in its engaging cinematography. With its aptly macabre setting, the film’s locales look menacing. It borrows the ambiance of a thriller or a zombie horror, but mostly has the dramatic quality it aspires towards.

Director Wes Ball imbues the right level of energy with inspired, high-octane action pieces keeping you glued. It might falter on many grounds but nonetheless, delivers solid entertainment for its entire runtime.

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