DVD movie commentary

Maze Runner The Scorch Trials (2015, USA) is, on the surface not about teenage life problems, but on closer inspection, it sort of fits adolescent life.

There is a theme we can take from the story that reflects adolescent life; The Maze Runner subtly explores surviving the turbulent years of adolescence.

In Scorch Trials, how to become an adult is viewed with no future in sight and no past to identify with, just an uncertain present where the adults seem immature and are not role models.

Dylan O'Brien (Pictured) at 2014 San Diego Comic Con International. Image sourced via google images.
Dylan O’Brien (Pictured) at 2014 San Diego Comic Con International. Image sourced via google images.

Young Thomas (Dylan O’Brien), the leader of a group of young people who are survivors of a worldwide virus outbreak, confronts the adult leader of a compound because a discovery there made Thomas suspicious.

Bodies were taken.

They are there because the compound is a “way station” between where they have been—the maze of the first film—and what’s outside—a desert with remnants of the ‘lost world’.

As Thomas investigates farther, the truth about the compound is hard to believe, and inflames an already bleak scenario. It seems their only hope is to survive.

It may sound pretty hopeless, to merely survive, but as they say, that’s life or can be life—and that includes the realities of teens and young adults.

The theme reminds me of the 1980s hit song West End Girls by the pop duo Pet Shop Boys. In that song, that references the young, a lyric goes, “We’ve got no future, we’ve got past, here today and built to last.”

That idea that we are suspended in the present fits well in The Maze Runner. It may fit the culture today with the climate of uncertainty about the future. Maybe we are asking, in this climate, who are we?

Maybe, in  a sense, we are in a valley as a culture? The Maze Runner The Scorch Trials is a timely film, then, for adults as well as adolescents.

As the survivors in The Scorch Trials tread onward, they are forging their identity as they walk through the valley.Even though survival seems a pipe dream in the universe of The Maze Runner, because the world seems too far gone and beset with infected people, the instinctual pull to move on and go forward despite dire situations or circumstances is stronger.

Rated PG-13, Contains violence and brief profanity


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