“The Scorch Trials” captivates watchers


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A scene from the movie “The Scorch Trials”. You can go see it at your local movie theatre.

CW Ko, Guest Contributor

“The Scorch Trials”, like many popular YA trilogies, takes place in a dystopian society and involves young teenagers who are trying to survive in extreme circumstances. The movie came out on Sept. 18 and is based off the second book in James Dashner’s “Maze Runner” series. However, “based off” is a loose term, as the movie was almost entirely different from the book, and only shared the same story arc (for the most part) and the existence of the same characters. The book focuses mainly on a dangerous trek across a large desert, which is the second trial that WICKED, a scientific organization formed to finding a cure for the Flare, a deadly disease that wiped out most of humanity, has established. The Gladers, the children used in the trials, face extreme environmental elements, Cranks, zombie-like people, and a lightning storm that killed seven out of the eleven in their group. The book contains several plot twists, including a betrayal, a promised cure, and several unexpected allies. On the other hand, the movie changed several aspects of the trek, the alliances, and the betrayal, making it much more cinematic. For example, instead of WICKED forcing them to simply walk into the desert, Thomas, the main character, leads an action-packed escape that leaves watchers on the edge of their seats.

Although the movie diverged greatly from James Dashner’s novel, many watchers enjoyed the changes; some even considered it to be better than the book. “The Scorch Trials” had an opening weekend domestic gross of $30,300,000 and worldwide gross of $108,300,000. Many fans of this series consider the cast to perfectly represent the characters; most noteworthy actors include Dylan O’Brien, who plays Thomas, Kaya Scodelario, who plays Teresa, and Thomas Brodie­Sangster, who plays Newt.

I thoroughly enjoyed this movie when I went to see it with a group of friends. The changes enhanced the story, and added elements of humor, thrill, and apprehension. The Cranks were gruesomely depicted, the sets were beautifully used, and the characters were well developed. The movie ended on a cliffhanger, and several groans and cheers were heard throughout the theatre when the credits appeared onscreen.

Despite the changes, “The Scorch Trials” is a thrilling, must ­see movie that leaves the audience anxiously waiting for “The Death Cure,” which will come out on Feb. 17, 2017.