The Scorch Trials (2015)

Starring:  The same kids as the last one, PLUS Aidan Gillen, Lili Taylor, Barry Pepper, a weird (yet awesome) cameo by Alan Tudyk.Plot:  After they escaped the Glade, our heroes find themselves at a weigh station for a group that's helping them to salvation.  But wait!  A Plot twist occurs where all of them are villains and the heroes narrowly escape into "the scorch", where they look for the resistance (which I think is called the right arm?  Red arm?), but find so much more than that....J-NzXReview:  I think the biggest problem I had going into this movie was that I saw the first one and really hated it.  If I hadn't seen that one and just went in blind, I'd probably have really enjoyed this movie, but because I did see it I was already prejudiced towards the main characters and my wishing they were dead.Aidan Gillen, who plays "Little Finger" on everyones favourite show A Game of Thrones comes in as the savour/villainous Mr Janson, an agent of "WCKD" (or wicked, and an acronym for the world catastrophe killzone department for some reason), who is tasked with keeping the kids safe until they need them to not be safe anymore.  While I like him as an actor, I don't really like him for this role, he seemed not evil enough, NOR do I like the choice of his wardrobe... dude rocks a popped collar jacket and turtle neck?  Is his neck that god damned cold?  Rough bud.  He tells the group that they survived the glade, but will never survive the scorch, which is just a new way of saying the "new world", which is a scorched earth that a lot of people cannot survive in, but many do.  There's a group of... zombies more or less (VERY similar to PS3's "the last of us") that are called "Cranks" who have no eyes and need to eat human flesh I guess? They have been afflicted with something called "The Flare Virus", which I assume they discuss more in the third movie.  They looked kinda cool, but you gotta think that without having eyes they'd be easy to get away from.  The heroes are not exceptional at this and make an abundance of noise throughout all the parts they need to be quiet.  Shockingly one of the kids gets scratched by one of these cranks and you find out it's a disease that affects people, so he slowly starts to turn into one of the zombies, but kills himself instead.The movie upset me right off the bat with a backstory of the main character when he was much younger being taken from his mother into the loving arms of WCKD and I think it just should have been in the first movie rather than this one, seems like it was put in to make people care more, but failed because they already knew the back story.  Then it just dove into the same beats it did in the last one, no real connection with the characters of the story, but at the same time everyone immediately trusts everyone else.  It's like... 10 times that they meet someone and the guys ask what's going on, or where are they going, pretty simple questions that all get answered with "Follow me", or "You'll have to wait to see",  but I don't see why they have to wait at all?  Why not talk ad fucking walk at the same time instead of just walking in FAR too awkward silence?I discussed not liking any of the characters, but that's not entirely true.  The main guy is apathetic and I am confused as to how he became the leader within a week, and the main female... looks really weird to me, but there's two redeemable characters in this, the ones an Asian kid who has a pretty nice jumping knee move that looks like it kills a guy with and the English kid is really kinda cool and seems the heart of the group, if not to head as well. (their names are....Ki Hong Lee and Thomas Brodie-Sangster, you guys figure out which is the Asian and English one).  But other than those two I don't have any real like for anyone in this movie, which makes it difficult for me to see it more than once.tumblr_ms1wltpuPR1s88ss5o1_1280UnknownThat being said I did enjoy this movie a decent amount, I thought the post apocalyptic world was really pretty in an ominous way and that the cranks looked pretty sweet.  There's a scene where you see some cranks that are much further along and have grown into the shrubbery type thing that look sweet.  I don't think they'll discuss them more in the third one, but I hope they do.  Alan Tudyk plays a small role of a guy who who reluctantly helps the heroes and I love him a lot, so that helps.  They also add in a lot of dystopian people into the movie, smaller gangs and civilizations that are existing outside of WCKD and surviving, if not thriving.  I like these story lines a lot because it adds new elements and they're kinda sweet.  I like how they kind of mixed the last of us with land of the dead and made everyone/thing coexist, albeit less conflict between groups than I'd originally hoped there would be.The heroes meet up with the "right arm" (which is a super dumb name for a resistance group) and you find out that the cure for the flare virus is an enzyme that grows in the brains of anyone younger than a teen, so WCKD needs them to extract this enzyme and save the world type thing.  The rub is that the enzyme cannot be manufactured, so they keep kids alive in a vegetative state and extract this enzyme for themselves.  A little weird, but it is what it is.  Not so much a shock, but one of the group betrays them so a third movie is necessary.The timeline threw me off, the first movie took place in three days and this one in like... 3 weeks maybe?  Seems like not a very long time, but they're all the best of friends immediately, which is weird as hell to me. I mean... I would have enjoyed it a lot if the first one didn't suck, but I can forgive Wes Ball as it was his first movie and this was a much better movie, seemingly the third should be really good then?  Here's hoping?