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Maze Runner 2: Scorch Trials


Marielle Ariete and Vann Lozano

Scorch Trials is the sequel to James Dashner’s New York Best-Selling novel, Maze Runner. This story follows the journey of Thomas and the other survivors after their escape from the maze in the previous installment. They are suddenly thrust into a bigger, more dangerous world as they maneuver through deadly traps, fight terrifying monsters, and evade the ever so mysterious World In Catastrophe: Killzone Experiment Department (WICKED). With the newest film released on September 18th in the United States, we’ll be talking about the similarities and differences the movie shares with the book. Now brace yourselves, for something WICKED this way comes!


Sometimes it’s hard to admit, but a movie adaption will almost never be the same as its book counterpart. Scorch Trials is a definite example of this. Due to all the changes, the film felt like it contained an entirely different plot than the book. However, while there were some glaring differences, there were still a handful of similarities strewn about.

The crew of Scorch Trials knocked the ball out of the park when it came to imagining the post-apocalyptic world of the Scorch. The film is filled with dilapidated buildings and shows off the sand filled wasteland for all its worth. Even the violent lightning storm that ravaged the Scorch was just as big and booming in the movie.

And then there’s Brenda. Rosa Salazar brought this character to life with her dry humor and bad girl charm, and quite honestly, might be the best new character in the film. Brenda and Jorge are the same rough and tough civilians that help the gladers move through the Scorch, not taking no for an answer and showing everyone who’s boss. They still have the same level of dedication to each other, sharing a father-daughter relationship that is very prominent both in the book and the movie.

Probably the most successful transition from book to film were the cranks. A crank is the slang term for someone who has been infected with the Flare virus and they’re just as terrifying and, well, disgusting, in the movie. The gladers are chased throughout the desert by these monsters, with all their frothy, bloodthirsty glory. Every scene with these guys is chilling, especially one particular sequence where Thomas and Brenda are chased underground by full-term cranks.

While Scorch Trials had some major changes made in the movie, the general film is tolerable. It still contains the same sense of desperation for answers and the adrenaline-filled action scenes that keep you on the edge of your seat. Thanks to its dedicated cast and crew, it wouldn’t be difficult for a devoted Maze Runner fan to overlook some of these changes and enjoy the movie as it is.

Differences (Marielle):

The plot of Scorch Trials differs so much from the book that it’s enough to render me breathless if I think too much about it. On the other hand, some of the changes director, Wes Ball, and screenwriter, T.S. Lewis, made to the film make some parts of the story more suitable for silver screen viewing. But a few well-placed twists might not atone for everything.

To start off, the Scorch was originally intended to be traversed as Phase Two of the Trials. Janson (played by Aidan Gillen) tells the maze survivors they are infected with the Flare, a deadly virus that has drastically decreased the Earth’s population. If they make it to the safe haven across the desert, they will receive the cure. However, there is no talk of this in the film- the gladers go right into escaping and most of them manage to get away unscathed. I personally prefer the book version of this whole debacle because at least there’s an incentive to all the madness, rather than having the gladers running around blindly.

There is also the downplay of Aris (Jacob Lofland) and Group B. In the film, it’s revealed that there were several other mazes, making the presence of Aris and his friends much less significant and less likely to affect Group A, Thomas’ group. This is a bit disappointing merely because I found Aris’ role in Teresa’s betrayal in the book rather dramatic and interesting, something that would definitely add to the film.

However, not all changes can be bad. Wes Ball and co. threw out the telepathic relationship Thomas had with Teresa, and while that was interesting in the book, it just wouldn’t translate as well in a movie adaptation. Also, Teresa (Kaya Scodelario), being the only female glader, has the chance to develop her character as she ends up running through the desert with her friends instead of with Group B like she did in the novel. This gives an interesting new perspective on Teresa’s actions and why she decides to side with WICKED.

There were many other differences I could have included, like the Right Arm camping out in the desert, the mysterious Mary who didn’t exist in the novel, or Minho getting kidnapped, but that would take days. All in all, the movie actually wasn’t that bad when it comes to entertainment. There’s some romance, a few laughs, and more than enough action thanks to the horrifying cranks that hunted down the gladers. So it may have diverged from the book by a few miles, but at least the breathtaking set design, nail-biting action scenes, and great cast make up for it.} else {