This second installment in The Maze Runner series begins right where the first film ends off. Having escaped the Maze, Thomas (Dylan O’Brien) and his fellow Gladers get picked up by Janson (Aidan Gillen) and escorted to hot showers and hot meals together with other teens who have escaped their own mazes. Confusion reigns.
Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials keeps the same speedy pace and heart-pounding action as its predecessor even though there are no mazes. There is lots of running, though. We get treated to a prison break, zombie chase, and Jorge (Giancarlo Esposito), a crazy, godfather-like character who, begrudgingly, offers help. Confusion still reigns.
Picking up pieces of gossip here and there of an army of resistance fighters called the Right Arm, Thomas, Newt (Thomas Brodie-Sangster), Minho (Ki Hong Lee), and Teresa (Kaya Scodelario) head across the barren wasteland of The Scorch, guided by Jorge and tough-as-nails Brenda (Rosa Salazar). As long as the Right Arm is fighting WCKD, Thomas doesn’t really care who they are, he just wants to bring WCKD down. Confusion definitely reigns.
Scorch Trials does not present any new themes or much character development but it does cement the concepts of truth and freedom that The Maze Runner introduced. The desire to know the truth about the Maze led Thomas and his companions to risk their lives to escape it. Once out of the maze, the little information they glean leaves more questions than answers, for the audience as well as the characters. Thomas’s desire for truth never wavers and leads him to continue to risk his life in search of freedom from WCKD. Hopefully with the last film of the trilogy, the confusion will be gone…hopefully.
The theme of seeking truth will resonate with Christian audiences. Jesus defines himself as the Way, Truth, and Life. He is our most fundamental truth. All other truths lead to Christ. John 8:32 says, “You will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” Truth is what Thomas is seeking in Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials. The boys will never be free of the Maze or the Scorch until the truth about WCKD and the experiments is known.
Thomas leads his friends through many dangers in search of the truth. What are you willing to do to find the ultimate truth, Jesus Christ?
About the Author
Sister Hosea Rupprecht is a member of the Daughters of St. Paul, a religious community dedicated to evangelization with the media. She holds a Master of Theological Studies degree from the University of St. Michael’s College in Toronto and an MA in Media Literacy from Webster University in St. Louis.
Sr. Hosea is director of the East Coast office of the Pauline Center for Media Studies, based in Staten Island, NY, and speaks on media literacy and faith to catechists, parents, youth, and young adults. Together with Father Chip Hines, she is the co-host of Searchlight, a Catholic movie review show on Catholic TV. Sr. Hosea is the author of How to Watch Movies with Kids: A Values-Based Strategy, released by Pauline Books & Media.
For the past 15 years, she has facilitated various film dialogues for both children and adults, as well as given presentations on integrating culture, faith and media.