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Saturday was a busy day for me, but while I actually had some free time I went to see The Scorch Trials. I got there about 15 minutes early for the second showing of the day and I even bought myself a bag of Skittles. When we walked in we were the first people in our theater, but that wasn't a surprise since everyone usually comes in a minute or two before the trailers begin. Needless to say, we got the best seats! In the end, there were six others seeing the movie with us (two more came in and watched for about thirty minutes in the middle of the movie - probably walked out of their own movie and right into ours). There were two trailers that showed before the movie began: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2 and Woodlawn. I absolutely cannot wait for the finale of The Hunger Games. I hadn't heard of Woodlawn starring Sean Astin before, but it looks inspiring.
On to the meat of The Scorch Trials, if you're looking for a direct adaptation of James Dashner's source material, this movie isn't for you. There are probably about as many differences between the book to movie adaptation as there were for Insurgent. I can't help but compare the book and movie and sometimes I can get pretty critical, especially if a favorite scene is changed, it's been miscast, if the movie can't stand on its own. By that I mean that the movie completely relies on the viewer having read the book and those who haven't read it come out of the movie feeling completely confused, etc. In this particular case, the movie is able to stand on its own even though it's very different from the book.
I must say I actually preferred the movie to the source material. There are so many elements that work well on screen about this adaptation from effects, soundtrack, and casting. Of the book series, my favorite was The Maze Runner. I liked the rest of the series well enough, but I preferred the maze mostly because the trial in the sequel just never grabbed me as much. It turns out that the biggest difference from page to screen is that the trial aspect is completely absent. It makes me wonder why they kept the same title. Another major difference is in the presentation of the Cranks, which are essentially fast zombies in the movie. Another interesting difference is that The Right Arm in introduced here rather than in The Death Cure. Those aren't the only differences, but those are some pretty key differences from book to movie. Regardless the movie is still pretty fantastic.
The movie is extremely fast-paced and doesn't waste any time getting right into the story and getting our Gladers out into the Scorch. I always like seeing some post-apocalyptic destruction. The movie is also very intense and has some horrific moments dealing with the Cranks - I mean, did you see the tunnel and rubble scene?! I also really enjoyed the new additions to the cast - Giancarlo Esposito as Jorge, Rosa Salazar as Brenda, and Aidan Gillen as Janson (aka Rat Man) are quite good in their parts. I was surprised how much more I liked movie Brenda versus book Brenda. I never really clicked with book Brenda for a variety of reasons, but the movie iteration was much more engaging. Like I mentioned before, the soundtrack is also good. I always like to pay attention to the music and sound editing and I particularly enjoyed it here - Jorge's "favorite song" is "Walkin' After Midnight" by Patsy Cline! It's an unexpected choice, but it works well in the context of the film and that entire sequence is one of my favorites.
Before I get too carried away, I just want to say that I really I enjoyed The Scorch Trials movie much more than I initially expected to. I like where Wes Ball is taking the film series and I'm looking forward to the conclusion of the film trilogy.
Has anyone else seen the film yet? If so, how did you like it? Did the changes bother you or did you like it as an adaption?