Friday, October 9, 2015

Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials

Books to Movies is a feature where I review movies based off books! These reviews are for people who have read the book, so spoilers are definitely within.

Rated: PG-13

Is it worth watching?

Oh, absolutely. Whether or not you've read the book, this was one hell of an awesome movie. Very well made, intense, and thought out, it'll keep you on the edge of your seat from beginning to end.

Is it clean?

There is quite a bit more profanity in this installment than the previous one. Thomas and Newt and Brenda spit out a lot of s-words. And while it's not gory (more suggested), there's some violent moments and the Cranks are disturbing, so if intense isn't your thing, you'll find it all quite disconcerting.

How is the cast?

I have absolutely no complaints about the cast. Zilch. Brenda, Jorge, Aris, Jensen were all spot on. Our returning characters - Thomas, Newt, Minho, Teresa, Winston, Frypan - continued to deliver just as effectively as they had in the first movie.

Did the story stay close to the book?

And now we get to tricky ground. There's only one way to put this: Scorch Trials the movie and Scorch Trials the book are nothing - I repeat, NOTHING - alike. There were so many changes that I don't even know where to begin with it. And I honestly can't without giving things away. The movie has all of the characters we know and love, and it keeps many of major concepts - like the Cranks and a few key scenes. And then it turns it all on its head and does whatever the hell it wants. It really is an entirely new and different story. And because of this, I can't give anything away. Not one thing.

Did they even get the little things right?

Little and big - no; they changed everything. I can't stress that enough.

But the ending is good, right?

Oh, it's spectacular! The ending sets up perfectly for the third installment. But it's still completely, entirely, utterly different from the book.

So if I absolutely adore the book, will I like the movie?

Let me instead talk about my experience. I went into Scorch Trials knowing they would probably change some things - pretty big things, too. Like the beginning. I was prepared for the beginning to be almost nothing like the book. It needed to be to work for the screen. What I was not expecting was for the movie to continue along that vein of "this is its own entity; you are not in the story you were anticipating." The first time I saw Scorch Trials (opening night), my brain physically hurt afterward. I couldn't process what I had just seen; I literally could not think about it. I went through all the emotions of surprise, confusion, uncertainty, fear that I was going to hate the movie after all, and then finally absolute amazement all in a single night. Wes Ball is one bold director. I'm sure he's well aware of the gigantic risk he took in pretty much flipping Scorch Trials on its head and disregarding everything in the book. However, I totally, absolutely appreciate what he did and why he did it. Maybe I'm wrong, but I got the impression that this movie was created with the 3rd one in mind the whole time. Fans, let's be honest with ourselves: while The Death Cure is good, the explanations it gave were rather disappointing and it really kinda felt like it had no direction. Suddenly, rebels and this place called Paradise were being introduced and more crazy stuff was happening - but not in the same way as the last two books. Scorch Trials the movie took several of those key concepts from The Death Cure and introduced them early. Then it gave a much, much more satisfying explanation behind what WICKED was trying to accomplish. It gave further purpose to characters' actions and filled in plot holes. Yes, unfortunately it meant that a TON of the original material had to be sacrificed. I was especially sad that the lightbulb creatures were cut. But it was entirely necessary and I think Wes Ball made the craziest and best and most brilliant move in creating this movie. Seeing it a second time definitely confirmed that for me.

But what about fans? I realize I'm a very tolerant fan. If I can understand the why behind changes, I generally accept them - and even like them. Most fans, unfortunately, aren't like that. If you're like me and can appreciate what they did to an awesome storyline that did, unfortunately, have a lot of gaps and issues - you'll love Scorch Trials. The number of changes will shock you and you might have to think about it for while, but ultimately you'll love it. If, however, you don't like any changes in your adaptations, you will hate this movie. Me? I loved it.

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