Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials

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Based on the second novel in James Dashner's sci-fi trilogy, this ponderous sequel to 2014's "The Maze Runner" follows the further exploits of a band of intrepid teens (led by Dylan O'Brien) navigating a dystopian world. The challenges they face include the machinations of evil adults (typified by Patricia Clarkson) and the consequences of a solar flare that has devastated the Earth and infected vast numbers with a virus that transforms its victims into flesh-eating zombies. Returning director Wes Ball's film espouses the virtues of loyal friendship and self-sacrifice. It also features some purely incidental Christian symbolism. But the mayhem quotient is high while the rewards of this wearying slog through a dusty, terror-ridden future are questionable at best.

Watch out for: Relentless, often intense violence, including torture, gory images, drug use, and some profane and crude language.

Rated: A-III, adults; MPAA: PG-13, parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2015