Baby, I’m Unmazed

maze

“The maze was just the beginning.” That’s the tag line on the poster for Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials. Understand that I haven’t seen it. I really have no interest. But I can’t get that phrase out of my mind: “The maze was just the beginning.”

From what I can gather (again – I’ve not seen the movies or read the books or even talked to someone who knows about them), The Maze Runner was about a group of kids who find themselves stuck in this massive, deadly labyrinth. It’s as tall as a skyscraper and as wide as a city and just full of killy goodness. So these teens are dumped in the middle of this inescapable deathtrap and what do they do? They escape. (Otherwise, there’s no movie.) I don’t have a problem with that.

So the sequel ensues and what do we get? The Scorch Trials. Why? Because “the maze was just the beginning.” Okay, I understand from a Hollywood studio point of view – tickets were sold, box office was boffo, sequel gets greenlit – but from a logical point of view, help me out here. Someone somewhere somehow builds a terror device so incredibly thorough and lethal that theoretically no one could ever survive its clutches and what do they do next? They construct a backup. Juuust in case. Of course, this one will be even more fatal and even more inescapabler, right? But that makes no sense. If you build something that by definition you expect no one to escape, why make something else to accomplish the same job only better? Just make the second one in the first place!

But whoever made the Maze and concocted the Scorch Trials isn’t logical, we’ve sussed that out. So we have to assume that these two killing contraptions are just the beginning. You make Inescapable Trap A and then back it up with Inescapable Trap B so you can’t possibly stop there. You’re paranoid; you know those crafty little buggers might – just might – escape again, beat the unbeatable system and you have to be ready for that. So what’s next? The Stoneballing? The Waterpooning? The Festationing? It’s just so absurd, isn’t it?

For the love of all that’s good and believable, can evil geniuses just make a deathtrap that works the first time out and stop all these unnecessary sequels? It’ll make young adult fiction less interesting but will free up the Cineplex for something far fresher and much less unmazing.

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