Cinematic Appreciation: Maze Runner – The Scorch Trials

CINEMATIC APPRECIATION OBJECTIVE: I love movies. They are a combination of every art form- visual and audible, textures and colors and singing and talking and everything beautiful. So I thought I would take some time to fully appreciate the films that capture my heart the most.

Each film is scored on several different levels:

CGI (Computer Generated Images, or basically special effects): 0 being terrible and 10 being phenomenal.

COSTUMING AND MAKEUP (speaks for itself): 0 being inaccurate and 10 being perfect.

SCREENPLAY (script): 0 being filled with plot holes and 10 being flawless.

CASTING (even extras!): 0 being meh and 10 being EVEN THE PERSON ON THE SIDEWALK WAS IN CHARACTER!!!

MUSIC (soundtrack): 0 being a detraction from the film and 10 being an advantage.

And, finally, OVERALL FEELS (my fangirling emotions): 0 being none and 10 being I-can’t-breathe.

Ummm… so I’m reviewing the sequel before the first one, but I don’t care. Today we are discussing:

Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials

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Starring Dylan O’Brien, Kaya Scodelario, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, and some other cool boy-band-type actors.

CGI: 8 out of 10.

Wow. I’m actually surprised myself at this rating. But when I think about it, the CG never really distracted me from the film.

However, I didn’t really pay attention to the cranks. Stupid zombie creatures with plants growing out of their heads? No. I definitely didn’t study that CG. But this 8 out of 10 rating comes from beauties like these:

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And this:

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COSTUMING AND MAKEUP: 6 out of 10.

I wasn’t particularly impressed with the costuming (whereas my sister was extremely impressed, but isn’t everyone impressed with a whole bunch of dudes in Henley’s?). The one thing that bothered me was the extremely obvious color-coding in the cafeteria.

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I mean, I get it. You probably meant to dress everyone in blue. That kind of thing doesn’t just happen without thought from the costuming department, but I don’t understand the choice.

I did like the distressed clothing, stained shirts from running mazes all the time, ripped jeans- I really liked Brenda’s outfit, too- but why are all the clothes at the abandoned mall A) not deteriorated, B) color-coded, and C) in your size?

On the subject of makeup, I have two things to say. First, I’m amazed that Teresa and Brenda had access to makeup in such gritty conditions. Second, the cranks were really the main makeup-ed people in this movie. And again- I didn’t really pay attention to them. But they weren’t… bad. It wasn’t like “Wow, look at that prosthetic.” It was convincing enough.

SCREENPLAY: 5 out of 10.

Half good, half bad. I can’t think of any major plotholes or huge mistakes or things I disliked, but there was just… not a lot of wowzerito either. It was just so-so. I didn’t really care about what they were saying most of the time. But I liked the story, so that’s saying something.

CASTING: 9 out of 10.

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I’ll start with the people I didn’t like, because, for once in my life, that list is shorter.

Brenda. Winston. Jorge. Ava (the white-coat lady that I didn’t know the name of so I assumed you didn’t know her name either and therefore explained to you who she is).

However, even though they’re kind of main characters, they couldn’t ruin Thomas Brodie-Sangster, who is pretty much America’s favorite British actor ever. (Oh wait, I forgot about Brambleberry Clippersnakes.) And I have a recent-and-semi-humiliating obsession with Dylan O’Brien so… um… yeah.

Also, Dexter Darden is a total theatre nerd (I don’t actually know, but he hates Twilight and likes to sing, so that’s as good as, right?). And Kaya Scodelario was like 90% less annoying in this movie than the first one. Yay for actresses who cease to annoy me!

I love Minho even though- or maybe because- his hair is twice the size of his head. It’s seriously like thicker than a mattress. And the bad guy, Janson, was pretty cool too. I still can’t figure out where his accent is from, though.

MUSIC: 10 out of 10.

MUUUUUSSSSIIIICCCCCC GAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.

This music is by far better than the movie (and I sorta liked the movie, too, so that makes the music even BETTER)- in fact, we listened to this soundtrack long before watching the movie. John Paesano has a special place in my heart now. The soundtrack definitely added to the film rather than take away- and I know for a fact that poor music can turn perfectly fine footage into a boring movie. (I’ve done it myself with home videos and seen one-too-many independent films fall into the trap.)

So yeah, the music was the bomb. It exploded when it should’ve exploded and swelled when it should’ve swelled and made me feels when I wanted to feels. That’s exactly what music should do.

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OVERALL FEELS: Thomas Brodie-Sangster and Dylan O’Brien out of 10.

I actually like the premise of The Maze Runner series (a lot better than The Fifth Wave, which we just watched and regretted). It doesn’t feel like just another Teen Apocalyptic Series. I mean, it kind of is, but I like it anyway. It takes talent to create another story about teens saving the world without making just another story about teens saving the world. Good job, Mr. Dashner.

Apart from the actual plot-line, the cast is fantastic, especially in interviews and behind-the-scenes, which may or may not make me become very attached to complete strangers. Also, The Scorch Trials has a TEN-MINUTE GAG REEL SO MY LIFE IS COMPLETE.

The End.

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3 Comments

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  1. Thanks for posting this! There is just one problem. These teens aren’t saving the world.

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  2. True. I didn’t think about that. I always just lump them in with all those ‘save-the-world’ stories…

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  3. ‘Tis true the genre is, for all practical purposes, the same thing. I am just bitter about the fact that saving the world does not occur in this story.

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