I’ve read the novel trilogy the Maze Runner movies is based on, and it’s facing the exact same problems as the other two prominent Young Adult franchises, The Hunger Games and Divergent (which I’ve, uhm, read as well). Each of them starts off with an interesting premise, but just so-so characters. The immediate sequel then kinda repeats everything with only slight changes, with more emphasis on a (mostly) terrible villain, and a focus on relationships, or better, the possibility of relationships. Finally, the end leads to a lot of action and big speeches, but the interesting spark that began everything is long gone. Which means, every sequel ramps up both spectacle and action, but lacks more and more regarding characters and plot.
The Maze Runner had a rather bland main character, but possibly the most interesting of the initial premises. Trapped in a strange maze, hunted by robots? That is something you can only improve with either Jack Nicholson grinningly wielding an axe, or David Bowie singing in skintight pants. The Scorch Trials changes the entire location to a postapocalyptic desert, with lots of new enemies. As the end of the first movie had revealed, the kids are in for another round of experiments, and we’re in for the Army, zombie-like infected, and monsters. None of it makes much sense, and it’ll constantly remind you of that other, slightly better postapocalyptic movie from earlier this year, and it could easily be so much better (just think about how the original wasted all of its Lord of the Flies material) but as the trailer shows it’ll at least be a rather good looking movie, and one that never slows down.
And obviously, it’ll be fun to see Aidan Gillen chew scenery as RAT-MAN.
In case you haven’t seen any of it, I recommend to watch The Maze Runner on a Sunday morning. It’s not exactly a-mazing, but not that bad either.