Spared or Spoiled Reviews: Maze Runner – The Scorch Trials

The rules are simple. The good get spared. The bad get spoiled.

Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials (20th Century Fox)

The Scorch Trials Poster

Directed by Wes Ball

Written by T.S. Nowlin  Based on The Scorch Trials by James Dashner

Starring Dylan O’BrienKaya ScodelarioThomas Brodie-SangsterDexter DardenGiancarlo EspositoAlexander FloresAidan GillenKi Hong LeeJacob LoflandBarry PepperRosa SalazarLili TaylorAlan Tudyk & Patricia Clarkson

As bad as, if not worse than, the first Maze Runner, The Scorch Trials is horribly directed. The pacing is terrible. The story is dumb. And the dialogue consist of three phrases repeated ad naseum. This is bad filmmaking. A master class in how NOT to make a good movie. I think I said in my review for The Maze Runner that the story is more suited to a TV series. I stand by that statement. This is a bad film. It’s bad I tell ya.

Verdict: SPOILED

The Scorch Trials cast

“Oh my god. You picked up a gun. We never think to do that.” “I know right? It was a surprise to me as well.” “Don’t ever fire it.” “I wasn’t planning to.”


First of all, let’s talk about the director. The pacing is frustrating. Every time there’s a special effects shot, the characters have to stare at it for the complete duration of the effect. Most effects feature some danger coming at them. So they stand there watching it. They stare forever. For as long as the effect is on screen the characters do not move. They can run away at any time. They wait for the entire effect to complete before trying to get away. It happens every single time. Mouth open. Eyes agape. Maybe some creature crawls out of the ground and then another. They still stare. A third emerges. This is a huge danger. They still stand there. The last one emerges and now the effect is complete. And only then can the heroes start to run away. It’s unrealistic and stupid. They shouldn’t have to wait for us. It’s incredibly annoying to watch.

The Scorch Trials

“What are you guys staring at?” “Nothing at all. They add the effects later.” “How long do we have to stare?” “It’s hard to know cause I don’t even know what we’re staring at.”

Second, let’s talk dialogue. There are three phrases that every character says again and again. “What’s going on?” You can count. I did. They say it seven times over the first hour before they change to “What’s happening?” for another five times in the second hour. Like as if someone had noticed how repetitive it was and did a word search and changed Going On to Happening the rest of the way through. And every few minutes someone says, “C’mon. C’mon. Let’s go.” just like that. Two c’mons and a let’s go. No deviation. Everybody says it exactly the same way and I lost count of how many times.


“We’ve only got one gun, so we’re gonna leave it with you and walk away.” “But I’m just gonna shoot myself with it.” “I know.” “It’s just gonna lie here in the sand after that.” “I know.” “You’re actually going to need it later.” “I fucking know.”

Thirdly, the acting. If you can call it that. I know they’re kids, but I don’t believe a word that comes out of their mouths. I had the same complaint last time around and they haven’t gotten any better. Maybe the character’s lack of personalities has something to do with their absence of memories. Oh yeah. They’ve all lost their memories. Which I guess includes the memory of any acting classes. Maybe you can explain it away with that. But honestly, they’re just really bad young actors.

maze-runner-the-scorch-trials 2

“That’s harsh.”

And then there’s the story and how dumb the characters act. The direction makes it seem like the whole thing takes place in an area smaller than a city park. Stupid things happen on camera. The characters say and do stupid things. It’s just a bad movie. And the ending. What garbage. The climax is a fifty person battle that takes place in an area the size of a sandlot. There’s no cover and yet no one can hit anything right in front of them until it’s good for the story. There’s a guy manning a large gun who can’t hit a flying helicopter. Okay that’s fine. Moving target. But there’s a a huge transport to his right that is stationary and three times as large and that should be easy to hit. But he spends the entire battle shooting at a helicopter that he never hits once and the main bad guys are boarding that big ole transport and getting away. I guess to blow that up would ruin the next movie. But because of the size of the battlefield being so small it looks stupid. It’s idiotic. There is no reason why he wouldn’t target it and end the fight right there.


“Stop calling me Little Finger.”

I can go on but it’s not worth the time. There’s a chase scene where they have armed men on their tail and a sand storm going on around them and then they find an opening into a large building, a shelter where they can get out of the weather and hide from the armed men who are trying to find them. And after the first two of our heroes enters the building the third one stops at the entrance and asks sincerely, “Why are you going in there?” WHAT?! What the fuck kind of question is that?

Maze Runner The Scorch Trials

“It makes total sense that he would hang us all up like this because of… um… reasons.”

Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials is an incredibly dumb movie with bad directing, acting, dialogue and story. I can’t wait for the next one. (that was sarcasm)

– Mel


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