RUNNER’S FATIGUE: The young stars of Maze Runner: Scorch Trials.
I didn't see the first Maze Runner movie and I didn't read the books, but I can guess the plot: The apocalypse happened, only a ragtag group of teenagers can save the world, and some kids fall madly in love. And I'm just spitballing, but I'll bet the rascally kids have to run through a maze.
As we begin Maze Runner 2: Still Runnin', these rapscallions (played by a bunch of kids you've never heard of and the questionably accented love interest in Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt) have escaped the maze and they can finally stop running. But safety makes for a boring movie and running is the only thing they do well, so of course their post-apocalyptic compound is—surprise, surprise—not safe! RUN!
After the kids escape from the Hunger Games or whatever, they're out in the post-apocalyptic world, which is called "The Scorch" because sometime during the apocalypse everybody decided to give stuff badass names. A virus outbreak has turned most of the population into zombies and also inexplicably caused a lot of dust storms.
The adults are all to blame, of course. Their greed, boring dinner parties and 21-and-over concerts precipitated the zombies and the bad weather. They also go by the acronym WCKD—pronounced "wicked"—because apparently zombies killed all the focus groups so that when the CEO suggested WCKD, nobody said, "Hey, let's try something a bit more cuddly."
But kids eat this stuff up, because they're inherently distrustful of adults and super-attracted to the idea that adults fuck everything up and that only they could save the world. The problem for me watching is that I'm an adult, so I'm inherently distrustful of teenagers. While the kids think the adults want to harvest their blood, I'm just as positive that WCKD is acting in the world's best interests and these kids are just assholes who don't understand science.
If you're a kid and you've got a problem with authority, get yourself to Maze Runner—the scorched-out CG skyscrapers look cool. But if you're over the age of 15, the subtitle of the movie should be more like I'm Sick of Chasing These Damn Kids Through Their Different Factions or Whatever.
SEE IT: Maze Runner: Scorch Trials is rated PG-13. It opens Friday at Pioneer Place, Lloyd Center, Eastport, Cedar Hill, Clackamas, Bridgeport, Evergreen and other Portland-area cinemas. GRADE: C