The Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials

(Spoilers ahead)

In what was potentially to be one of the most thrilling movies of the year, The Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials did not disappoint. With so many dystopian-themed films being released, many films follow similar paths, but the Maze Runner series provides twists that change the course of the films, and did not resort to melodramatic action scenes, as many others have. *cough* Insurgent *cough*

(I’ve never read the Maze Runner books, so my opinion is solely based off of the events of the films.)

After the events of the Maze, these poor kids are so lost and feel betrayed, especially after the events of escaping the Maze and the decimation of WCKD, though not really decimated, they are captured by a new force and led to believe they are free, but with one condition: they aren’t allowed to leave this new compound because of the scorch which destroyed the world, and those who were infected by The Flare, which turns them into zombie-like beings. After Thomas discovers that this new compound is really controlled by WCKD and they aren’t actually safe, he and his companions escape the compound and head out into the Scorch. Going on nothing but a few rumors, Thomas and his friends head out to find “The Right Arm”, a group dedicated to saving those that WCKD has captured and used for their “cure” against The Flare. Finding this group is nearly impossible for Thomas and his friends, later helped by newcomers Brenda and Jorge who help them find The Right Arm, often referred to as “ghosts” by WCKD and survivors of the Scorch. Though their time with The Right Arm is cut short by Theresa, whose memories were returned during their stay at the WCKD compound and truly believes that WCKD is good. She informed them of the location of The Right Arm’s base, leading to numerous deaths and the unfortunate capture of Minho, which sets Thomas and his friends on a mission to stop WCKD, once and for all.

Dylan O’Brien’s performance as Thomas is almost perfect, my only complaint resorts from his overdramatic running, which leads to a look as if he’s about to spasm and fall on the floor. He manages to capture the emotion of the moment, and play off his castmates well, especially Thomas Brody-Sangster (Newt) and Ki Hong Lee (Minho), who do equally as well in using their castmates for direction and emotion. Kaya Scodelario’s portrayal of Theresa is, in my opinion, much better in this film than in the first. Her betrayal of Thomas and his friends is one of the best acted moments of the film, with both O’Brien and Scodelario portraying the respective emotions of both of these conflicted teenagers. Newcomer Rose Salazar shines as Brenda, a survivor of the Scorch, that later is infected by The Flare after a crank bites her as she’s trying to help Thomas reunite with his friends.

Overall, the film was very well acted, and though the plot was a little light, which led to everything feeling a bit like a filler story to get all of the details of the post-apocalyptic world and WCKD shoved in, though it ended in a fantastic place for the next film to pick up off of. The Scorch Trials definitely topped the first film, which was a bit dissatisfying. The next and final film, The Maze Runner: The Death Cure, is scheduled for a February 2017 release, and will just be one film.

Leave a comment and let me know if this was something you enjoyed reading, and how you enjoyed the film! And please share!

‘The Duff’ review

The Duff is the high school drama we have all waited for since Mean Girls. But it’s not about being mean or fitting in. The Duff captures the hearts of its viewers with Bianca Piper, an “average girl” (at least for a movie.) Bianca is the protagonist we can all relate to: she loves pizza and has a crush on one of the popular guys at school. After being friends with two of the hottest girls at school, Bianca is thrust out of her oblivious duff-induced reality by football star, Wesley Rush, who is also the hottest guy at school. And typically, he’s dating the meanest girl. Now, “DUFF” (Designated Ugly Fat Friend) may not be what you expected it to be. You don’t have to actually be fat or ugly, which is something that may have turned away many potential viewers. Throughout the movie, we are told that a DUFF is the approachable friend; the one people talk to when they have a crush on the hot one. So you don’t have to actually be fat or ugly.

A charming, sweet and somewhat sexual comedy and while some scenes in this movies were a bit over the top and unrealistic, (I’ll leave out the one in mind because of spoilers, but if you’ve seen it, you know which one it is), Robbie Amell and Mae Whitman (Wes and Bianca) manage to pull you into their frisky comedy about being the Duff, with great performances by the supporting cast (mainly Bella Thorne).

If you had been questioning whether to see this movie, you should go. It’s the complete opposite of what the internet had to say about it. This movie is not threatening and does not trigger harmful body image issues. It’s a sweet comedy about a girl who comes to realize that being a Duff doesn’t define who she is; everybody is someone’s Duff. The movie leaves behind the thought that being who you are should be enough and ends on a positive note, encouraging the ideas of having a healthy, positive body image in your mind. You will not regret the trip to see this movie, and I guarantee you will laugh.

Plus, Robbie Amell is shirtless quite a bit, so that’s just another reason to watch it all by itself.