Read also: criticism of the film from a point of view of the video game
If the first episode of the saga of the Labyrinth, from The Test, the literary work in three volumes by James Dashner, stood out by his intimate side (the decor is minimal, with a handful of actors, there are relatively few digital effects) that was playing on the feeling of claustrophobia, the second, THE LABYRINTH : THE SCORCHED EARTH, put overdrive. The plot is now in place and the major revelations took place. Rest the film’s director Wes Ball to confirm all the good that we thought of its adaptation so far.
In fact, The Labyrinth was a good surprise of the year 2014. While it was envisioned in sub Hunger Games, surfing on the wave of adaptations of novels for teenagers (Twillight, Divergent…), whose successes are not always a guarantee of quality (dixit Divergent 2), The Maze was able to show personality and stand out. The credit is above all to be its director, who proves with the second episode of its ability to vary the genres, to make us live an adventure at the same time in the continuity of his predecessor and especially different because it focused on the action.
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.
After the success of “surprise” of the first game at the sight of its initial budget ($34 million to nearly 340 million harvested at the box office worldwide) it was with THE MAZE : THE SCORCHED EARTH the risk of burning the wings. With a budget doubled, Wes Ball could have delusions of grandeur and fall into the grandiose and grotesque. Grandiose there, but perfectly well-studied. Has new digital effects are used sparingly (which focused a lot of real scenery and provide a visual always impeccable. And yet the word order is now in action. An action ubiquitous, but very thoughtful and that is evidence of more originality than imagined.
For our young hero, after surviving the Maze, there will be little respite. From escape from a military base controlled by Janson (the excellent Aidan Gillen, Littlefinger in the series Game of Thrones), the immunity of the virus that has ravaged the world, go in search of the “right Arm”; a rebel who fled the complex with another group of young people immune. Walking towards the unknown, always worn by Thomas (decidedly very good Dylan O’brien), Teresa (Kaya Scodelario, finally a little more present, but still very recessed), Minho, Newt, Winston, and the new Aris will never cease to escape the dangers that lie ahead of them : zombies, a storm, men of WICKED, the thieves… The group is reduced even further, it is a pity not to focus more on these secondary characters.
“Absolutely fascinating, this film confirms brilliantly well that we thought of the saga.”
But as we said, Wes Ball has decided to focus on the action. It is in this realization that the filmmaker is very convincing. More particularly in his way to evoke a possible influence of the video game. With a scene that may remind some sequences of the game series Uncharted and the reboot of Tomb Raider, which were themselves an inspiration in the film (false air of’Indiana Jones of Steven Spielberg). In SCORCHED EARTH, it passes through the ever-steady pace and the willingness to go forward. The danger is always behind Thomas, he will have to climb a building in ruins on the verge of collapse, run to escape all his pursuers, or to pass narrowly under a door before it closes.
By chaining these sequences Wes Ball creates the best way to the constant voltage. An effect much stronger than with this kind of film is not so much the future of the hero who is in the game. There is no doubt that it will come out until the end and will come back for the third and final episode. Yet we remain hooked to our seat in front of both mastery and efficiency. Because Wes Ball reverses entirely the usual composition of the films, used to advance the plot while being punctuated by a few action sequences. Almost in the manner of a Mad Max Fury Road, it is the action that makes the film and is interspersed with passages “quiet” for some revelations. Moments of relaxations which are not exempt from any thrill. Kind of a calm before the storm. Evidenced by a sequence in the underground of the most unsettling and disturbing in the manner of Silent Hill (Christophe Gans, 2006), with a lot of terrifying creatures.
Obviously with all this wasted energy there is a risk of weariness. Fortunately, the film still manages to regain momentum and to keep us captivated. THE MAZE : THE SCORCHED EARTH, absolutely fascinating, and confirms with panache the good that we thought of the saga. Finishing as before by a reversal of situation – a little expected, but which takes the film to further reflection, to moral issues, the decision whether or not to sacrifice himself for the greatest number…- , here we are, the output of the 2: 15am (a bit long) in the wait to see the end of the adventures of Thomas and his companions. Offering a true breath of fresh air to the genre of the blockbuster by its simplicity, the saga of the Labyrinth has not finished to surprise us. And we hope of course to have a conclusion with the third and final part planned for February 17, 2017, just as successful.
THE OTHER OUTPUTS OF THE 07/10/15
THE MAZE 2 : COUNTER-CRITICISM
• 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.