First of all, like always, I gotta say I might or might not accidentally reveal some of the things you should never know before reading or watching it by yourself. In other words, this post will contain hundreds- tons of spoiler.
So if you haven’t read the book or watched the movie and planned to do so (and minded with spoiler), DO NOT- I repeat, DO NOT read this post.
After watching The Maze Runner around a year ago, I’ve been wanting impatiently to watch The Scorch Trials. If you ask why, well… I love the movie so much. Among all those three look alike dystopian (which people often compare yet I don’t really get why they should)- Divergent, The Hunger Games, and The Maze Runner, I prefer The Maze Runner like, a lot. That was why I looked forward for the movie. Have been watching the trailer some months ago, even just for a brief 30 seconds, I’ve known already that the movie would be different- completely different with the book. And yes, it IS different.
Just not as I thought. Just that… it’s beyond completely.
Just that… it feels like watching a different movie with the same title and characters.
If someone ask me whether I like the movie or not, to be honest I’m not really sure. Yes the movie packaged it into one interesting action dystopian movie. Those who haven’t read it aka my friends also enjoyed it so much. Heck. I haven’t heard a complain over the movie yet. And am glad. And I am agree that it is fun, interesting, superb, and the list goes on. But as much as I enjoy it, I also feel disappointed for not being able to watch the realization of the book- to watch those favorite scenes of mine from the book.
Well, the main reason of it, I guess, is the way the movie portrayed Minho and Newt. Minho and Newt’s relationship, and also Minho’s character especially. Before watching The Scorch Trials, I’ve been in love with Minho’s character in the book. Yes, in the book one there was probably not many scenes of Minho. But in the book two and three, it’s Minho’s heaven (?- okay, that’s exaggerating, I know). So when I was going to watch it, I prepared myself to fall in love for Minho again. I want to fall in love with Minho. But I can’t- sadly. Not that I don’t like the Minho in the movie, since there’s nothing could make me hate him. But apparently, there’s also nothing could make me love him there. It seems that in the movie, they decide to completely focus on Thomas; Thomas here, Thomas there, and so on. Well, true that the book itself talked a lot about Thomas comparing with other characters. Yet, there I still could see the difference of characters they had; between Minho, Newt, Thomas, Teresa, and the others- I think Aris was another story but yeah, I might talk about him too later.
Lemme try to… explain it case per case (note : will be mostly about Minho cause, well, I AM biased.).
- Overall characterization of the characters.
I know that maybe a lot of changes on the characters needed since the plot itself has changed. However, it’s such… watching a completely different thing. Say, Teresa wasn’t supposed to betray them like that. A big revelation, isn’t it? Teresa should be betraying Thomas just because she had to make Thomas FELT betrayed (She was threatened by WCKED to do so). It was never an actual betraying. It was an act, all Teresa did in the book- instead of like the movie, where Teresa actually gave them all to WCKED. And Aris. This new character wasn’t supposed to actually side with Thomas and the others (man, he barely appeared in the book- which for that, movie is better than the book). He appeared to join and cooperate with Teresa; to help her making Thomas felt betrayed. He never helped Thomas went through anything, and he never completely trusted Thomas as well, not to reveal something like what WCKED did. Vince wasn’t supposed to be the kind figure (Heck, he appeared at the middle of third book, even). He was hard, strict, and everything. He didn’t even give a damn about Thomas or other Gladers, except that they would lead him to destroy WICKD- and others didn’t really matter. Dr. Mary- Mary, right? Sorry if I was wrong- because I didn’t know her first name in the book (IF from the explanation that she was the doctor who was working with WCKED). Dr. Mary wasn’t supposed to show her kindness too much too. She didn’t help Thomas and the others too sincerely because she was hiding from WCKED; she didn’t even work with Right Arm, which made the relationship between her and Vince (you know from the movie there was something between them, right?) was never happened. Next, Janson. Well he was rather likeable if we ought to compare him with him in the book. In the book, he was more annoying and he was called (to the point I forgot who he was as well), as Ratman- started off by Minho and soon, since he didn’t appear much and didn’t interact with other WCKED members in the book, called the same by everyone. And there was Ava Paige. In the book, Ava Paige was a mysterious being. No one knew who she was, and I doubted she was the one Thomas and the other saw getting killed in the book. Even after the third book (when she FINALLY barely appeared), she was never revealed as something. All we knew, that Brenda knew this Ava Paige and told Thomas to believe only to her (See? That’s why she shouldn’t be the one Thomas saw getting killed.) Never once she appeared in the second book as well. And there was Brenda and Jorge. Jorge had less charisma to lead the others, in the book. As it was stated that Thomas didn’t know how, but Minho seemed to manage assure Jorge and make him in the lead again. On the other side, Brenda was… stronger in the book, I guess? Sure in the movie she still was, but it wasn’t shown as much. Besides, Jorge and Brenda should have this important secret… which I wouldn’t reveal yet since- who knows, maybe it’ll turn to that in the end at the third book later. Maybe the only one stick with the character in the book was Thomas; just Thomas.
- Minho was supposed to be a leader.
Yup. In the book, not everything is based on Thomas’s decision. Lots of their actions were suggested by Minho, because, he IS the leader. The movie didn’t have it; why? Because they decided to erase the part of them knowing their own label. Like some of you might have seen in the movie, there was a label on each kids. I saw Thomas’s was revealed by Jorge that time; “Subject A-2. To be killed [by Group B]. Property of WCKED.”. Actually, in the book they all knew those labels; the scan wasn’t needed. And in the others, it was :
Newt : Subject A-5. The Glue. Property of WCKED.
Minho : Subject A-7. The Leader. Property of WCKED
Teresa : Subject A-1. The Betrayer. Property of WCKED.
Aris : Subject B-1. The Partner. Property of WCKED.
As the story goes by based on the movie, sure the label wasn’t actually matched with its real purpose in the book; mostly, Teresa’s and Thomas’s ones. But you see, in the book Minho’s label specifically became such a revelation of his characters. Ever since the label was discovered, Newt, who was the second hand in command after Alby before, took a step back and let Minho led them all; as THE leader.
- Minho’s bluntness and coldness and talk/act-first-think-later-ness.
In the book, it was pretty much clear on how Minho was blunt, cold, saying whatever in his mind, and acting whatever in his mind; like, CLEAR. It was seen on how Minho reacted when they met Jorge at the first time, how he was saying whatever towards Jorge; which upsetting Jorge, and how he was acting rude and almighty towards Jorge; which almost made him getting killed. Even at the very end, Jorge almost actually cut Minho’s finger off. It was even showed on how Thomas and Newt getting frustrated over that attitude of Minho. They both were the ones who had to take care Minho’s mess everytime that happened.
And move on to the coldness, it wasn’t seen too in the movie. In the book, Minho has always been the one who kept them to move, to continue walking and worry about their own futures instead of mourning about those who were dead. ‘How’re we gonna fight our way through this city with only eleven people?‘ was all he said aloud when Newt told him how many survived after everything (because in the book, they came out to the scorch with around 30 people- more than half was killed before that moment Minho got struck by lightning.).
- Newt’s being caring, smart, calm, and wise.
Caring, I think I’ll buy it if someone said that the movie covered it up nicely. Though I wouldn’t say it as nicely since it still barely showed how Newt was feeling when he had to watch Alby dead and when he had to count on the numbers of his dead friends during their trips at the Scorch. And then, in the book Newt was shown to be the very contrary of Minho too. If Minho was indeed having a short-tempered, then Newt was the otherwise. There were times when he disagreed with Minho’s decision, but he was wise enough to not say that aloud and let Minho did what he thought because he knew that people only needed one leader instead of two (read : him and Minho both had the same rank). He was the one who asked everyone to stop, to consider, to bloody think for a second before doing something risky. In short, Newt was the brain between them.
It was Newt’s. Newt’s way to call Thomas. I don’t know how many people noticed that Newt called Thomas Tommy once- just once from the whole 131 minutes, and it happened too fast. I didn’t even had a time to fangirl over the call- which I should be because, that was supposed to show on how close Newt and Thomas was. In fact, in the book Newt has been calling Thomas with Tommy since the first time and- ALWAYS. I read somewhere that a crew (or Dashner or whoever I didn’t remember exactly) said that there would definitely a scene when Newt called Tommy. What I didn’t expect, was that it would really just A scene, and not in every time Newt called on Thomas. I don’t know why they didn’t let Newt called Thomas Tommy. Is it Thomas Brodie Sangster himself who refused? Well I doubted that but- why, then?
- MiNewt (Minho-Newt) moment.
Now, I’m not asking for… something like gayness in there (not that I’m against that too; I read somewhere that Dashner has told the fans once that Newt was supposed to be gay; with whom he was in love (?) with, Dashner didn’t want to tell.). I’m more likely asking for… bromance? probably you would say it bromance.
Ever since I read all three book, aside from just falling for Minho, I also pretty much loving Minho and Newt’s relationship in the book. They were the contraries, often to fight- like almost every time Minho opened up his stupid mouth, but in the same time they cared a lot about each other; especially Minho to Newt if I must say. And I love it. Yet the movie decided to erase the whole (? because well, it’s not as much in the book 2, though still sweet in my opinion) interaction between Minho and Newt. Like this sentence : “Newt with his limp, Minho next to him, eyeing him to make sure he didn’t fall.”. SEE? That cold Minho cared for Newt- and that’s definitely something to me and I want to see the scenes and more of those! (Okay, sorry for the hype but I really love that part- that was why) Then when Minho got struck with lightning, Newt was asking Thomas what happened with him. Thomas answered it with somewhat-like-too-easy, saying Minho would live and he was not a doctor and he could get worse- which was right, but Newt didn’t seem to like how that sounded at all.
There should be dozens of Minewt moments in book three, but I doubt it’ll be shown in the movie as well; looking at how the movie ended up like. *sighs*
Now to make it fair, because I’ve said that the movie is great, it wouldn’t seem so if I didn’t talk about it at all; isn’t it?
I think the strength of this movie comparing to the book is the amount of action scenes of it, and also, the plot itself. If you noticed from above, everything I’ve said was related to the characterization. And yes, I think the most disappointing part was that there wasn’t any progress in characterization since the movie way too focus on Thomas. But here, there were some things that was more reasonable and enjoyable in the movie.
- The Scorch isn’t a trial.
In the book, the scorch was a part of trials from WCKED. It’s never been about them running from WCKED. It’s always about them doing something WCKED had plan through- to the very single detail of it. And I don’t remember that there was the talk about Flare (and how they were immune) at the first movie, but in the book… they were never told that they (or some of them) were immune. Instead, the WCKED guy was telling them another story. They were said to have Flare, all of them. And the only way to survive the flare was to walk through the Trials and met WCKED again at the end of line. To be honest, that was kind of- boring? That’s why I’m happy that the movie decided to change it as an attempt to break through WCKED. Moreover, we got to see what WCKED was doing with the other kids back there (different with the book, yes. but more shocking and fun too). Though, it made the title less-related with the content which was supposedly telling us that this was yet another WCKED trial, I don’t mind at all. It’s more fun, what else I need after all (I NEED characters- okay, we’ve passed that though)?
- Aris got more scenes.
In the book, Aris just appeared from… nowhere. On his first scene, he just finished taking a bath and found all of the Gladers already in his room. Should be… awkward. Right? Well yeah, of course. And then Aris just explained everything happened with him; the maze- which was the moment of realization for Thomas and the others; that their maze wasn’t the only one (Right. This made the movie interesting too, that there’re TONS of mazes instead of only two- one a bunch of men with a woman, and one a bunch of women with a man). And weird that every single thing happened in the other maze was EXACTLY the same with theirs, to the point that there was someone killed to save Aris. The difference is, that in their maze it looked like their Thomas was the dead one to save their Teresa. WEIRD. CREEPY. IRRATIONAL. Which was why I prefer the movie better too. (Okay, that was OOT) And after that? There was no part of Aris- no actual part where we can see how Aris do… something? How his characteristic was. While in the movie, you could see him trusted Thomas way more, and he also seemed a bit smart- by knowing how to find the way to explore the lab, and quick-witted too for thinking that there was something wrong with the rescuers. You could see how close Aris was with other girls- which was said to be his glade-mate (?). See? More of something with Aris in the movie instead of the-random-guy-came-from-Teresa’s-bathroom-and-happened-to-be-Teresa’s-other-group.
- No unnatural conflicts, confrontation, or… you named it; between Aris’s Group and Thomas’s.
In the book, Aris’s group (aka. group B) supposed to kill Thomas before they got a chance to reach the end of line- which was weird and also irrational because WICKD was such a fond of Thomas. That’s why Thomas had the label to be killed by group B. Because it was their roles. But like it’s something easy, Thomas managed to persuade the group to let him go after they’ve captured him. And then they were all reaching the end of line, and then WCKED didn’t say that any of them was failed. Weird, again. Because if Group B’s purpose should be killing Thomas then be it. Meaning they weren’t succeed in doing what they had to do. And meaning they were stupid for letting Thomas go just like that. That was why the movie better. Because, well in the movie there was no confrontation between groups. They met at the Right Arm and they were somehow immediately working together to go fighting against WCKED. And that sounds more normal and logical.
- Teresa’s way of betraying was more natural
In the book, as I’ve mentioned before, Teresa was supposed to betray Thomas due to the threat. Apparently, WCKED instructed Teresa to make Thomas felt betrayed by her with the help of Aris or they would kill Thomas. Which was stupid. Well, WCKED IS A FOND OF THOMAS; I don’t know how else I should explain. It was shown since the start till the end that WCKED will never kill Thomas (we could see it even more in third book, honestly). And then, isn’t it kind of stupid that Teresa believed and just did whatever WCKED asked for? And it was to betray Thomas- to make the person she thought important hurting. And you think, how she would do that? First. She appeared in front of Thomas like a crazy girl- screaming and all (I, and Thomas, thought she was controlled but then she wasn’t). She told Thomas to believe in her whatever happened. And Thomas was about to do it- she kept that in mind even though Teresa has been working with group B to capture him, and when Teresa pulled him to somewhere quiet- to make him feel betrayed there. Apparently, by kissing Aris and pretending that she wanted to be with Aris and so on. I was like WHAT THE HECK? What kind of betrayal is that? And, I don’t understand. What was WCKED purpose to do that to Thomas? The book said they were looking for the best, but indeed all they did was testing Thomas and Thomas only. No one else from the book got tested. And then, what kind of betrayal is that? If Teresa would really have to act to the point Thomas didn’t believe in her anymore, why did she bother to warn Thomas? That’s the purpose! To make him FELT betrayed. And he couldn’t feel that with trusting her no matter what happened, indeed?
While in the movie, as we could see, even though both was done due to Teresa’s way of thinking- which still didn’t make her as a villain, she betrayed him and that’s that. She gave a good reason; that she had to find the cure, that she didn’t want anyone to feel what she has felt in the past. She betrayed Thomas because she wanted to save everyone, and she did it clean- by calling WCKED to the Right Arm camp. Much more make senses, of course.
- No too-weird elements in the scorch.
If you did notice, Janson did said that Thomas and the others wouldn’t survive the element at the scorch; right? Though I honestly thought that it shouldn’t be said- because there wasn’t any actual elements aside from the lightning that struck Minho, but in the books there were elements who killed many of the Gladers. And to be honest, it IS weird. It was said that the sun was way too strong in the afternoon, so that none of them walked in the afternoon and slept under the sheet instead. Then there was that lightning rain which would struck randomly on people (in the book, aside from Minho- which was super lucky to stay alive, there were many others who got a struck and dead). As if it’s not weird enough, there was a- BALL eating human’s head. Yes, you read it right; EATING. So if the ball hit your head, you wouldn’t get your head broken, you wouldn’t get exploded, or any rational incident. Instead, your head will be just gone all of sudden, getting eaten by the BALL. And in the movie? None of them happened aside from the lightning. And it is good. It’s supposed to be x thousands later on earth or so, isn’t it? So it makes the ball-eating-head is way too fantasy for me, for a non-fantasy story.
Okay. I could only remember about those points up per now, and it has been more than 3500 words- which was too long. So I ended it up here. What did I prefer, if you ask as the conclusion? Either none or both. Each one had their own strength and weakness, I noticed. The movie had better and more challenging plots, while the book had better way in exploring the characters. If only both are combined, I would surely love it.