“Maze Runner: The Death Cure” stars Dylan O’Brien, Kaya Scodelario, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Nathalie Emmanuel, Will Poulter, and Patricia Clarkson. Released on January 26, 2018, the film has Thomas leading his team of Gladers against the forces of W.C.K.D.
The film is directed by Wes Ball, who also directed the last two Maze Runner installments. It is based on the third and final book in the Maze Runner trilogy by James Dashner. After three years of waiting, we are finally bringing this latest young-adult series to a close. It was originally set for release last February, but due to O’Brien’s injuries, they pushed it back to next year to allow more time for him to recover. The Maze Runner films were far from perfect, but they were able to impress some people with their blend of action and mystery. While the first film had plenty of moments that I liked, the second film had a few issues that kept it from reaching the same heights as its predecessor in terms of depth. With the last chapter in full swing, will it be able to make it out of the maze alive…again?
Taking place immediately after the events of “The Scorch Trials”, Thomas (O’Brien) and the last remaining “Gladers” attempt to infiltrate the headquarters of W.C.K.D., rescue their friends Minho (Ki Hong Lee) and Teresa (Scodelario), and bring the organization down once and for all. In order to do that, they must get through the “Last City”, which houses the W.C.K.D. building. Unlike Harry Potter, Twilight, and The Hunger Games, The Maze Runner released its final chapter that's not split into two parts, which comes as a sigh of relief for a lot of people who grew tired of Hollywood’s money-making trend. This is also the most tension-filled installment in the series due to the amount of action and the amount of danger that the characters are facing. While it does have its familiar setbacks, including some post-apocalyptic cliches and its lack of mystery that was introduced in the first film, it offers enough thrills and depth to improve itself a bit compared to the second film. O’Brien once again delivered a solid performance as Thomas, a young teenager who will stop at nothing to rescue his friends while dealing with his inner conflicts about W.C.K.D.’s intentions. The rest of the cast also did fine with their performances, including Patricia Clarkson as Ava Paige, but almost none of them can compare to O’Brien’s portrayal. The film definitely plays out like your typical, visual-filled sci-fi action blockbuster, but Wes Ball never lost sight at the film’s character depth, which was handled a bit better compared to the character depth in “The Scorch Trials”. He really wants you to make sure that some of the characters may or may not make it out of this alive, and the way he expressed that was nicely-executed. Even the emotional parts were handled pretty well, especially the ending, although some of them were having a hard time maintaining that effect. Ball also did a nice job at depicting W.C.K.D. as a flawed organization filled with people doing what they thought was right, even if it means harming innocent lives in the process. What I really liked about “The Scorch Trials” was how thrilling and well-shot the action sequences were without relying heavily on the shaky camera work and the irritating quick-cut editing stuff. This film is no different as every little bit of action grabs hold and never lets go until the very end.
Overall, “The Death Cure” once again finds itself in unoriginal territory in terms of the genre, but that hardly matters when it marks a slight improvement over its predecessor. This is a suitable, yet flawed, conclusion to the young-adult film trilogy that’s consistently thrilling and, more importantly, watchable. Like the last two Maze Runner films, this is basically for those who have read the books. If you happen to like the other films, this one will definitely suit your needs.