After escaping the Maze, Thomas (O’Brien) and friends find that the mysterious WCKD is still pursuing them, as they try to make it across the blazing ‘Scorch’.
The first Maze Runner dropped us right into the action and left us without resolution, beyond our heroes’ escape from the maze. This loose adaptation of the second book similarly dispenses with such luxuries as a beginning or end and just races with Dylan O’Brien’s Thomas and his friends as they run from the mysterious WCKD organisation, the genuinely scary, zombie-like Kranks that roam the burned-out Scorch and the gangs of the desert fringes. There are Spielbergian nods, colourful characters – Giancarlo Esposito is an eccentric gangster and Alan Tudyk runs a nightclub for the terminally decadent – and thoughtful moments amid the mayhem. So while it’s a woefully incomplete middle chapter, at least it’s never boring.
It’s only recommended for those who have seen the first film and plan on seeing the third, but as middle installments go this is an entertaining one that’s all the better for being unfaithful to the book.