Movie Review: The Scorch Trials: Running Nowhere

Movie Poster
Movie Poster

The Scorch Trials

Directed by Wes Ball

Released September 18th, 2015

Genre: Dystopian, Action, Adventure, Young Adult

Starring: Dylan O’Brien, Kaya Scodelario, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Ki Hong Lee

Synopsis

Transported to a remote fortified outpost, Thomas and his fellow teenage Gladers find themselves in trouble after uncovering a diabolical plot from the mysterious and powerful organization WCKD. With help from a new ally, the Gladers stage a daring escape into the Scorch, a desolate landscape filled with dangerous obstacles and crawling with the virus-infected Cranks. The Gladers only hope may be to find the Right Hand, a group of resistance fighters who can help them battle WCKD.

IMDB Score: 7.2/10

Rotten Tomatoes: 62%

My Thoughts

I was super excited to watch the Scorch Trials this weekend it opens because I’d watched the Maze Runner last year and absolutely loved it. It had been a thrill ride from start to finish and I thought that the action/adventure was fascinating and ethereal. Naturally, I was highly anticipating the sequel, expecting it to be bigger and bolder than the last movie.

What I Liked

The cinematography was stellar. I felt like the entire movie fit an overall aesthetic of poignant desolation. The camera focus was sharp as knives and the silhouettes made on the desert landscape were outstandingly artsy. I got chills whenever more than one character turned their heads at the same time, because it was done with such synchronicity and meaning. I felt that the visuals were excellent and I was overall blown away by them.n It certainly had a darker atmosphere than the first movie.

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Game of Thrones’ own Nathalie Emmanuel played such a BAMF (bad ass mother fucker) character, Harriet, in the movie. She was fierce, audacious, and exuded impassioned leadership. It was a delight to watch her instill awe in Thomas’s group and commandeer an army. It was such a far cry from her more gentle character on GoT, and I really enjoyed it.

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My heart leaped with a multitude of intense emotion, from terror to despair to elation. I actually got teary eyed when that tragic event occurred, and I could feel my heart leaping out of my chest with a surge of horror as Thomas’s crew was attacked by zombies. I like movies that make me feel greatly, and The Scorch Trials did succeed in that way.

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Brenda was pretty boss! She was totally self-assured and plucky, and I like her impetus. Her cool demeanor intrigued me. I think that she held her own very well and was very daring and dauntless.

What I Didn’t Like

So. Much. Running. I feel like the whole movie was just about Thomas, Newt, Teresa, Minho, and the rest of the gang just running away from the “bad guys” and being chased and shot at and attacked. Running from WCKD, running from zombies (too many zombies!), running from what ever attacker was there. It became ingratiating. Like Thomas said “I’m tired of running.” I’m tired of you running too, Thomas.

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I didn’t feel like there was any real point to this movie. I left the movie theater not even sure if I knew if there was a plot to it. A lot of random crap just happened to Thomas et al and I didn’t understand the premise of it. The first movie very clearly showed that the objective was to find the way out of the maze, and the objective was reached by them leaving the maze at the end of the movie. It seemed like for the sequel, horrible stuff was just thrown at our heroes and we were left with more questions than answers. It was more a of an awkward in-between movie, and I hope the mystery will be truly solved in the third (and final) movie.

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I didn’t like how Newt didn’t talk that much in this movie. I adore the actor, Thomas Brodie-Sangster (Nanny McPhee, Phineas and Ferb, Game of Thrones) and I wanted his character to be more important in the Scorch Trials, like he was in the Maze Runner. He kind of faded to the wayside in this movie, even though he was still Thomas’s right hand man. Plus, I really love his British accent, so I sorely missed hearing it a lot in the movie. I have a soft spot for Newt, which the Scorch Trials didn’t really deliver on.

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Teresa was just kind of there. Her character didn’t add any value to the plot until the horrific twist at the end, which appeared to have come out of nowhere. She was more of just an accessory to Thomas.

Verdict

The Scorch Trials was very aesthetically pleasing and showcased brazen female characters. It was fun to watch three Game of Thrones actors in one movie (Nathalie Emmanuel, Thomas Sangster, and Aidan Gillen). I think it was really thrilling to watch and it kept me on the edge of my seat. I thought that was excellent direction by Wes Ball in terms of visuals. Yet, it seemed pointless and meaningless, and I was left dissatisfied and disappointed.

7.5/10

Thomas
Thomas

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Playlist for Melancholy Late Nights

melancholy nights

  • Sia – Breathe Me
  • Ed Sheeran – Give Me Love
  • Lana Del Rey – Video Games
  • Imagine Dragons – Demons
  • Gabrielle Aplin – November
  • Daughtry – September
  • Birdy – Without a Word
  • Daughter – Landfill
  • Sia – Big Girls Cry
  • Daughter – Youth
  • The Lumineers – Charlie Boy
  • Ed Sheeran – Photograph
  • The Middle East – Blood
  • Jeff Buckley – Hallelujah
  • The Fray – How to Save a Life
  • Coldplay – Yellow
  • The Script – If You Ever Come Back
  • London Grammar – Wasting My Young Years
  • Florence and the Machine – Never Let Me Go
  • Lucy Rose – Shiver

Hypocrite or Saint: Should the US let in Refugees to Assuage the Migrant Crisis?

originally posted on my personal blog: wildcharismaandwanderlust.wordpress.com

Hypocrite or Saint: Should the US let in Refugees to Assuage the Migrant Crisis?

Oh, the hypocrisy of mainstream media. After weeks – months – of vilifying, demonizing, and dehumanizing refugees, it turns around and cries out at the injustice of children drowning. “For the children!” is the battle cry that rings out of the media. The tune has changed from the idea that the migrant crisis is an invasion of Western civilisation to actual sympathy for the migrants. It is abhorrent that it took a viral picture of a drowned child washed up on the coast of Bordum, Turkey, for the world to recognize the shared humanity of refugees fleeing war and oppression in Syria, etc for a better life.

At this point does the US even have a moral obligation to take in any refugees? A country of 53,041.98 USD as its GDP per capita is considering taking in just 10,000 refugees after months of the E.U. migrant crisis, whereas Germany, a country of 46,268.64 USD GDP per capita, has already welcomed at least 10,000 more asylum seekers than it already has just this previous Saturday. Germany affirms, “Our boat is nowhere near full” to the thousands of migrants making the perilous journey to the Western world from Africa and the Middle East.

How then can America, the land of the free, only deign to accept 10,000 asylum seekers/migrants/refugees? We consider ourselves the pioneers of the developed western democracies, and we should start acting that way. We can do better than 10,000 migrants. We have the resources and capacity to take in much more. We are the Home of the Brave, and if those refugees are courageous enough to risk their lives on a precarious boat on a quest for humane living conditions, they deserve to be welcomed into the United States with open arms.

There have been arguments that the EU’s migrant crisis is too geographically distant from the United States to expect us to get involved. Yet, this country has created a pattern and a history of getting involved in other countries’ affairs. Why is that, as the leader of the free world, we have a precedent of violently interfering with the business of countries that are geographically isolated from us, rather than extending a hand of peace and friendship to asylum seekers from countries in need?

After all, the United States of America was originally founded as a nation of immigrants, of men desperate to cross uncharted waters to find liberty and evade oppressive governments. Much of the United States’ history includes an influx of even more immigrants from countries such as Ireland and Italy who were seeking a good life of honest labor as well as fleeing persecution and famine. Ellis Island, New York, is notable for being a symbol of freedom for immigrants entering the Land of the Free via ships. What makes these migrants any different that we should turn our backs on our brothers and sisters in their time of dire need?

I call up on the Great United States of America to do the “right thing” and accept at least 50,000 migrants onto our shores. They, too, deserve life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. They, too, are human beings just like us. They, too, are worthy of acceptance.