After escaping the Maze, Thomas and his group of Gladers find themselves trying to escape the clutches of WCKD. They rush headlong into the Scorch…the world outside burned by the sun and filled with disease.
They come into contact with a group of freedom fighters who want to help get the uninfected kids to a safe zone and far away from WCKD. But they find that not all the Gladers can be trusted.
The Scorch Trials changes up their monsters. The Infection (called the Flare) turns people into zombie like creatures that mindlessly attack and destroy anyone in their path. The film builds a dramatic chase in which Thomas and freedom fighter Brenda try and escape these monsters. There is a great reveal in sewers and an exciting chase through a broken down skyscraper.
I really liked the new characters. Brenda and Jorge seem sketchy at first, seemingly just out for themselves, but prove themselves trustworthy. Alan Tudyk has a brief but memorable role as a rather scummy informant Jorge deals with.
The film ends on a bit of a cliffhanger, but also a note of hope. The Scorch Trials is a good second act for the Maze Runner series. It is exciting and has interesting characters.