The newest series that Hollywood is trying to force-feed as the replacement for the Hunger Games (which is coming to an end this year) is the Maze Runner.
Unfortunately the first movie, which came out in 2014, didn’t garner all too much hype and ended up with a rating of 63% on Rotten Tomatoes. Many critics claimed that the film was trying too hard to be the next HG and ultimately, this lead to disappointment. Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials is faring worse with a 49% as it rolls into theaters today.
However, it did garner up a relatively healthy performance at the box office and thus studios aren’t ready to give up on the story just yet. They have now released the trailer for the sequel film, Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials, which will be in theatres in the fall of 2015.
The trailer shows the films lead Dylan O’Brien reprising his role as Thomas. Thomas, alongside his fellow Gladers, is now battling against the all-mighty organization W.C.K.D. while trying to survive the dangerous obstacles throughout Scorch, the desolate landscape outside of the maze.
Director Wes Ball explained the sequel’s concept saying, “it really does pick up immediately after the last movie, when they were lifted away in a helicopter by these mysterious rebels. The world is in dire straits, and these kids are important for fixing the world. And because they are so important, a lot of people want their hands on these guys.”
The trailer shows Thomas and his team escaping from the maze facility they were trapped in by W.C.K.D. The maze was a type of experiment/testing facility, which allowed the W.C.K.D. to determine who was destined for bigger things within their organization (by seeing who lasted long enough to escape the maze).
In the new trailer, audiences hear the chancellor of W.C.K.D. Ava Paige explaining, “It’s safe to say that the maze trials were a complete success…. It’s time now to begin Phase 2…”
Now that the characters have entered the Scorch, they are surrounded by a whole new landscape. The world outside had been decimated by a solar flare. For the most part, the surviving population was taken out by a plague, which is preparing to emerge once again. Director Wes Ball also recently explained the virus saying, “in the last movie we said these kids were immune to the virus, but in the second book we learn they actually are infected. So it will sort itself out in the movie. The question is who is infected and who isn’t. That’s a mystery we hold out.”
A notable addition to the cast this time around is Aidan Gillen, who is known for his role as Littlefinger on Game of Thrones. Aiden plays authority figure Janson (known as Rat-Man in the books), who is shown in the trailer teasing Thomas with the secrets of the maze and the W.C.K.D.
As Thomas and his Gladers escape the walls of the W.C.K.D. facility, they will eventually run into a new group of characters known as the Cranks. The Cranks are a clan of infected scavengers living outside of the maze. It is here that Thomas and his crew realize that there are other mazes and therefore other survivors just like him.
The trailer shows Thomas realizing that “we never escaped. This was all just part of their plan,” as they discover a new facility filled with embryonic versions of Grievers, which were creatures that killed many of their friends within the maze. They begin realizing that the W.C.K.D. was behind all of the horrors that filled the maze and they were placed there for a reason.
The trailer hypes an even bigger story with the sequel as Janson is heard saying, “Thomas, the maze is one thing…but you won’t last one day out in the Scorch.”
Although the movie is no doubt action-packed, it does have an incredible amount of similarities to The Hunger Games. Unfortunately, The Maze Runner doesn’t seem to add anything innovative to the typical young adult sci-fi genre.
Most likely, I will be waiting two more months and getting my fix with the last installment of the Hunger Games. I don’t think the Maze Runner franchise is going to be able to create the fan base it was hoping to and I am guessing the reason for its moderate success is partially because of the lead actor’s (Dylan O’brien) incredibly devoted fans.
Furthermore, while this film will deliver on action, I don’t think it will bring much else to the table.
You can catch Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials in theatres on September 18, 2015.