[COUNTER-CRITIQUE] THE LABYRINTH : THE EARTH BURNED

You will also find a positive criticism and supplementary, by Stone to this address.

The first Maze, in spite of a tone and an artistic direction largely borrowed from the competition (Hunger Games, Divergent, The Giver, etc) proved to be an efficient entertainment through operating the best of its environment (a maze holding a prisoner in the teens).

This second installment, coming out of this environment-character, became the classic teen-movie/post-apo/uchronique without personality that he had narrowly avoided being in the first film. This does not mean, however, that the film lacks interest.

On the contrary, it attests to the importance of the collective unconscious in the production of a film, and more particularly here, the video game. If we stand up for since a long time this idea of video games influencing film through masterpieces such as The Sons of Saul or The Rover. In the THE MAZE 2, the report is different again.

And it is what it is, it is exciting !

I’ll begin this reflection from a moment rather intense, located at the 2/5 of the movie, when the characters explore a shopping mall run-down before getting attacked by the zombies residents.

What is interesting is that at this moment in time, the universe of the LABYRINTH 2 is exclusively told by the Image, without that the characters need to express it through dialogue.

First, through the exploration of the environment. This scenery, very detailed, explains to us as to what ends the humanity of this post-apocalyptic world has been able to achieve. At what point adaptation, self-help and resourcefulness are necessary to survive. This scene explains to us also that any solution, if effective, it can turn instantly to failure. The error is certainly human, but in this world, THE SLIGHTEST error is fatal – that will test the characters of the movie, when the zombies will attack with force. The scene from attack of the zombies, in addition to generate pace and suspense, and also explains that this hostile environment is held constantly ready to absorb the lowest.

“THE MAZE 2 borrows a lot to the collective unconscious and the video game ! A vector of accessibility and stimulation, but also of impersonality…”

In itself, the operation of scenery and situations for story is quite successful, as in the first Maze. In the example cited above we can add the discovery/exploration of each new environment, expressing a state of human end different : the complex of the beginning of the film, the city of the survivors, or the camp of the mountains… In fact, this alternative scenario centered on man and his adaptation to social and/or physical universe failed is more relevant than the explanation that continue stubbornly to the characters in the film.

It is also very quickly stale : SPOIL[spoiler mode=”inline”] the labyrinth is a way to keep them under control and to select young human carriers of a rare resource and unique, and essential to the survival of humanity, or at least some of the. A scenario reminiscent of is Green Sun, the Matrix, or almost every type of movie teen/postapo/uchronique.[/spoiler]

A script can be a little original, but offset by a universe visually rich. THE MAZE 2 therefore proposes a deeper interpretation than the simple story of the characters. The interest of this second reading is to involve more of the viewer, both intellectually and emotionally. A complex watermark that perfectly managed another blockbuster released this year, the excellent and paroxysmal Fury Road.

Paradoxically, I realized that with this scene of discovery to the shopping centre, I went to a decal film of a similar time but in a video game : the visit of the sewers in The Last of Us.

THE LAST OF US: THE SEWERS

I understood that like me, Wes Ball, has clearly been biberonné the two media – cinema and video game. It is quite normal to see him switch his cultural background in his film. It is as well that THE MAZE 2 borrows a lot to the video game. Its mechanical (narrative context, but also its level design), its gameplay (its staging), and his artistic direction. This passage of the shopping centre has thus, in spite of me, awakened my attention to the functioning and to the imagery of the film.

Include still and always The Last of Us, for the aesthetic végétalo-disgusting zombies, or for that building collapsed on another, that must be explored. We also think of FPS/TPS (first-person shooter / third person shooter) zombiesques style Left 4 Dead or Resident Evil 4 (and suites), to this a very precise way of organizing the attacks of mass, all fury and speed. We also see the Uncharted 2 and 3, in the management of the suspense confronting a simple man to the near absolute of a danger far too disproportionate : a collapsing building, or a window that can be slowly eroded, with a fatal fall below. A glass that breaks…A window that can be crack ??? But…OH WAIT !

A window will crack ? Zombies fast-attacking in mass ? A building collapsed on another ?

You may have understood where I’m coming from. THE MAZE 2 is a new example, as Fury Road (him again), Scott Pilgrim and a few others, ouroboros of pop culture. The film inspired by the video game, which in turn inspired the film ! An exciting loop cultural that we had already discussed HERE about Guillermo Del Toro (fire Silent Hills), Peter Berg (CoDAW) or with more boldness, about”papa” Spielberg.

The borrowings of the MAZE 2 in the 11th art do not, therefore, to the artistic direction and staging of the action, the narrative structure of the film is also very video-fun !

Thus, the sequence of scenes is still largely the same. We flee a dangerous area to arrive in an environment that is relatively wide. We must explore it until you find a trigger to advance the story, which causes the arrival of a new danger, and the loss, again, of an environment that has become impractical… up to a new area. And so on.

Exactly the mechanics of a video game type TPS action/exploration, times so, four times in a row. With the risk cause of the repetition, a predictable pace and in the last act, a hint of boredom.

This phenomenon of repetition is not usually a problem in the video game because it is compensated by the script, the interactivity, the variety of environments and depending on the game, for the situations of gameplay. However, transposed to the MAZE 2, the variety of environments is blurred because of a stamp generally too generic. This influences his narrative and its scenario, since it exists also for the scenery. We also discussed above, the staging deck in the collective unconscious. Some passages seem to have escaped from video games iconic, themselves, repeating the scenes of iconic films-icons.

In the end, my reaction to half-enthusiastic, half-undecided as to what LABYRINTH 2 is I guess comparable to that which would have been a movie buff connoisseur of Wu xia pian, westerns or war movies, to the films of Tarantino… A movie in itself successful, which draws its effectiveness film in the collective unconscious. Genres unknown to Tarantino, the video game for Wes Ball.

If the first one succeeds to blur the opportunism of his approach by a reinterpretation of modern and personal, and the second rate of this goal by lack of personality. Result is a film that is at once accessible and effective by generic codes that it uses, but also failed by too little originality in his production overall.

We will temper this observation is mitigated by recalling that the quality of the film (discussed by Peter in his critique) is quite independent of the search for the origins of a visual identity or its realization.

THE OTHER OUTPUTS OF THE 07/10/15

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THE MAZE 2 : CRITICAL ★★★★

INFORMATION

Original title : Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials

Achievement : Wes Ball

Screenplay : T. S. Nowlin based on the work of James Dashner

Main actors : Dylan O’brien, Ki Hong Lee, Kaya Scodelario

Country of origin : U. S. A

Released : October 7, 2015

Duration : 2h13

Distributor : Twentieth Century Fox France

Synopsis : In this second installment of the epic saga THE MAZE, Thomas and the other Blocards will face their greatest challenge is to search for clues about the mysterious and powerful organization known as WICKED. But the world they discover outside of the Labyrinth has been ravaged by the Apocalypse. Their journey leads them to the Burnt Earth, a landscape of desolation filled with obstacles unimaginable. More government, more order… and hordes of people fall prey to a murderous madness that roam the ruined cities. The Blocards will have to join forces with other fighters in order to face the WICKED and try to challenge his immense power.

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