Thomas and the survivors of the Glade from The Maze Runner are back in another adventure in the growing teen dystopian future genre. Granted, this one is more interesting than the others not called The Hunger Games, but only just so.
Picking up right after the first movie left off, Thomas and his pals (who were, if you remember, immune to a global plague called The Flare and were, for some reason, put in a giant maze because screw you for trying to make sense of this) are all brought to a facility in the middle of the desert where they are to be relocated to a new life after being rescued from the evil WCKD (actually pronounced “Wicked” in case you weren’t sure they are actually the bad guys). However, all is not as it appears and, as soon as it starts looking like they can’t actually trust the guy who plays Littlefinger on Game of Thrones, Thomas and the other immunes escape out into the desert to get away and join a resistance that might actually not exist.
The less you think about it, the better.
All right, so it’s not great… but it’s not terrible. I have to admit, I actually kind of liked parts of it a little bit. I like how this movie has got some teeth to it and a hard edge that the other teenage dystopian future movies seem to lack. I like Dylan O’Brien as an actor and he plays the role of Thomas with a vulnerable believeability that I find charming. I also have to admit, that the zombies in this movie (yes, I know they’re not really zombies) are some of the most freaky and scary zombies I’ve seen in a PG-13 movie.
On the other hand, this is another classic example of “middle movie syndrome” where the second movie exists solely to set up the third. There’s very little development in the story and there’s a lack of any real identity – the first movie has the maze which was new and exciting and this one has… the same ruined city we’ve seen a million times already.
Finally… it all seems dumbed down as if the writers and directors don’t trust the audience to understand what’s happening.
There’s very little from this movie that stuck with me and I have to struggle to remember any of the plot as it just seemed tedious and unoriginal. However, as I’ve said before, it’s led by a good up and coming actor and the movie has an edge to it that makes it tolerable. The plot, though tedious, does set up the third movie in a satisfactory way and even throws in a curve ball or two.
So, yeah… it’s not great, it’s not terrible… but compared to most young adult movies, it’s better than what you usually get.