Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials, film review: A frenetic, fast-moving sequel

(12A) Wes Ball, 131 mins. Starring: Dylan O'Brien, Thomas Brodie-Sangster

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The Independent Culture

The Maze Runner sequel is a frenetic, fast-moving film whose destination is unclear. Without recapping on the first film, it rushes straight on.

Thomas (Dylan O'Brien) and his fellow "gladers" are patients/hostages in a huge complex run by Janson (Aidan Gillen). They are immune to the flare virus and represent "humanity's best chance of survival".

Thomas quickly realises that Janson is not to be trusted and leads a breakout into the "scorch," arid wastelands inhabited by zombie-like beings called cranks.

The film is best taken as a teen Mad Max. Thomas and co race across deserts and through destroyed cities as they try to hook up with a revolutionary group and keep ahead of Janson and his henchmen.

Gillen is good value as the purring villain and Patricia Clarkson makes a sinister villainess. Some of the post-apocalyptic production design impresses, there is a tremendous set-piece on a skyscraper and the young cast tackle underwritten roles with commitment.

Even so, the latest Maze Runner isn't a patch on its near cousins, The Hunger Games and Insurgent.