Friday, December 18, 2015

3 Short Paragraphs: Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials

2015, Wes Ball -- download

Continuing with my (forced) theme of The Post-Apocalypse, I give you the second in the trying-to-ride-MockingBirds-coattails teen po-ap series, The Maze Runner. The first had the ridiculous premise of kids running a maze to find out why the planet ravaging disease doesn't affect them. In this one, the kids have escaped the maze surrounding their idyllic country abode into ... The Wasteland. The world outside is destroyed, but I am not sure it has any impact on them, as they are all without much memory. That was part of the trials inside the maze -- that they not remember who they were nor where they came from. So, they don't know they are from a world ravaged by a disease, which apparently was able to make sand of everything and knock buildings down.

The second picks up immediately outside as the kids are rescued from the blowing sands and... fast zombies? Where did they come from?  Well, the kids are rescued by adults with guns and ushered into what looks like an oil derrick in the middle of the desert. Yay, you kids have survived the maze and escaped the clutches of the evil corporation WICKED (World In Catastrophe: Killzone Experimental Department) -- talk about a committee that starts with the cool acronym first. But kids, guess what? Not escaped yet!  Bwah hah hah hah... evil laughs and all, by the station leader Little Finger , or as I best know him, Tommy Carcetti on The Wire. The kids escape again.

So, we know a bit more about the world now. The Flare is the disease. It turns people into zombies. Or kills them. And it was caused by the ravages of solar flares, thus the ruined cities and desert everywhere. All rather neat for a po-ap background, but even stranger considering the advanced nature of the maze they used for experimentation. Anywayz, this movie was more appealing to me than the first and frankly, it felt more... real. The kids are trying to escape, basically from anyone who wants to use them. But in a po-ap world where everyone is scrabbling to survive, why wouldn't they? And considering the world of WICKED is still pretty clean, well fed and full of high tech, its no wonder not all the kids buy into hiding in a ruined wilderness. Alas, everything is a trilogy so we end on another cliffhanger as the kids find reason to return to WICKED and end their wickedness.