Starring: Dylan O'Brien, Kaya Scodelario, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Dexter Darden, Nathalie Emmanuel, Giancarlo Esposito, Alexander Flores, Aidan Gillen, Ki Hong Lee, Jacob Lofland, Barry Pepper, Rosa Salazar, Lili Taylor, Alan Tudyk and Patricia Clarkson.
Written by T.S. Nowlin and directed by Wes Ball. 131 minutes long.
Hooray! It's time for another dose of teenagers getting brutalised, beaten up and murdered in the name of entertainment, just to bid our time until the final Hunger Games later this year. So, this starts off from where the first film ended, like one second after it finished.
I'm almost tempted to just cut and paste my review for Maze Runner here and save me some time since so little is different second time round. We get the same bunch of kids running, but outside in a desert rather than in a maze and instead of strange mutant bio-mechanical spider robots as a threat we have rage-infected zombies. Some characters die, some don't, lessons are taught and secrets are revealed, but once again it's one of those films where characters don't tell the others what's going on, they're told instead. Indeed, you just want Thomas to stop and tell the other what's going on it would so help the situation.
The kids stumble from one event to the next up along the food chain till the end, setting the table for the next installment. The action sequences are fun, the shattered city is fantastic but this is a jarring film, and despite being only a 12 certificate i still felt it was unnecessarily unpleasant and scary for 12 year-olds, certainly my young lad was a tad stressed by events. There's quite a bit of swearing too and the sight of kids using guns to kill is a little unsettling as is the stated desire by one of the youths that he wants to kill someone for revenge. Strength is shown to be by the use of a gun and killing is all done with impunity. The baddies are shown to be nothing more than contemptuous adults who want to abuse and exploit the kids for a cure to the disease that has ravaged the planet.
With plot holes you could drive trucks through, stupid character motivations, a bizarre and utterly unnecessary teenage drug and sex club sequence, a savage torture scene, and filled with generic, by-the-numbers dialogue, this is an average film that thinks it's okay to tease but never give its viewers the happy ending they so richly deserve.
The action becomes repetitive as does the language as does the fact that everyone except for the kids knows what's going on, this isn't terrible, the production values are excellent as is the hmmm, you'll find out.