|image source: here. edited by me.|
MOVIE ADAPTATION of The Scorch Trials
read my review on The Scorch Trials (The Maze Runner, #2) by James Dashner
I didn't get the chance to watch this movie in the theater, but I finally watched it. And my initial reaction after I finished it was, "What did I just watch?". Firstly, because the movie is literally nothing like what I remembered The Scorch Trials to be. There's so much differences between the book and the movie that I don't even know where to start talking about it. I know that they also changed a lot of things in the first movie, but the second one seems to create a story on its own now; with just the basic idea and characters from the book. Had to say that I'm pretty disappointed in this movie, because The Scorch Trials is my favorite book out of the trilogy. And I'm sad to say that the book is SO SO much better than the movie. Here's my non-spoiling review for the movie adaptation of The Scorch Trials.
Continuing the previous movie, The Maze Runner, the group of Gladers who were rescued are now taken to a facility in which they're gathered together with others who came from different mazes. At first they're pretty content because they're able to have decent food, clean clothes, and even a bed to sleep on. Until one night, Thomas was secretly called by a boy named Aris to witness bodies being taken into a mysterious room. Then Thomas discovered that the facility they're in is actually part of WCKD—the people they're trying to run away from. Thomas and the rest of the group barely escaped and found themselves deserted in the outside world: the Scorch."Hope is a dangerous thing."
Like I said earlier, the movie is almost nothing like the book. The Maze Runner also had some changes but for the most part it still stayed true to the original story; but not this one. Even the way they got into the Scorch is VERY different, which is probably the most disappointing part for me, because the way to the Scorch was really intense and is one of my favorite scenes. I can say that they went into the Scorch willingly because they wanted to escape the facility. The Scorch is supposed to be the next trial, but the movie doesn't say anything about that. I literally don't understand why they had to change so much. Because when I read the book, I thought the scenes will be perfect if they're adapted into a movie. I'm assuming they made the changes to prepare a better ending for The Death Cure, but even so, I'm still incredibly sad because my favorite book of the series is adapted this way :(
Another thing that I'm pretty disappointed about this movie is the lack of character development. The questions related with the characters are still left unanswered. Even so, I'm glad Newt (played by Thomas Brodie-Sangster) got a lot of screen time—which I think is done to prepare the audience for what's going to happen to his character in the last installment; but of course I'm not going to spoil that here ;) And maybe it's also part of the fan-service because I know a lot of people have been fangirling over him. Thomas (played by Dylan O'Brien) still does an amazing job with all the action scenes. The way he run makes everything seem much more intense. And I'm always happy whenever Minho (played by Kihong Lee) showed up on screen because he's my favorite character. But again, their characters have no depth and personality. Minho is supposed to be the sassiest person ever, but his dialogues in the movie doesn't portray that at all.
I could go on and on about all the characters as well. Teresa's (played by Kaya Scodelario) role is only slightly like the book. I don't want to spoil too much for those who didn't read the book, but from what I remember, Teresa is not supposed to be with Thomas and the gang throughout the whole journey. Brenda (played by Rosa Salazar) doesn't get infected in the book and she's supposed to have a pretty big role later in the story (which will be revealed in the next installment—hopefully). I do love her bonding time with Thomas though, and thankfully the movie doesn't force it to be romantic. I'm also questioning their decision in adding a new character named Mary (played by Lili Taylor) who doesn't exist in the book. I think it's okay to spoil that she'll be dead too by the end of the movie. And I literally don't understand why they needed her character if she doesn't serve much purpose in the plot.
Setting my disappointments aside, let me talk about the things that I do love / enjoy from the movie. First of all, I'd say that the cinematography is indeed very beautiful. The scenes in the Scorch, the lightning scene, it's indeed very pleasing to the eyes. I'm also quite impressed by their portrayal of Cranks, even though they kind of look like people who become tree-like zombies. They're pretty scary-looking and that adds the intensity of the scene (quite a lot of jump scares too). And of course, any scenes with Minho in it is always my favorite <3 Other than that, nothing else really stood out to me because most of the time it feels like a chasing game between the Gladers and WCKD. Which I'd have to say again, is nothing like the book.
For those of you who wanted to know the differences between the book and movie in detail, you can check out this post that listed all 22 differences. I absolutely agree with their question at the end of the post which says, "Were these even the same stories?". I can continuously rant about this all day saying how disappointed I was at the movie adaptation for The Scorch Trials. And does James Dashner has anything to do with the alterations / changes to the plot? Of course I understand that adapting a book that has so many things happening into a 2-hour movie is difficult to do; but this movie is almost completely different plot-wise. Anyways, I'm going to stop here or I'll get even sadder as I keep writing. I'll just say that I completely understand now why this movie gets quite a low rating. Decent movie to watch but doesn't have a good plot and character development.
Nevertheless, I'm still looking forward to seeing the conclusion to all this in The Death Cure.
I hope it'll be worth all the changes that they made to the original story.