I like “Maze Runner” the most out of all the YA franchises out there, and for good reason – the final instalment in the trilogy is one whole movie, as opposed to other YA franchises which split their last movie into two for some desperate cash grabs.
“Maze Runner: The Death Cure” closes the story with dignity by keeping the story within one movie (which is fitting, given that it’s based on the book of the same name). The science fiction, post-apocalyptic action film follows 2015’s “Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials” and 2014’s “The Maze Runner“, and depicts the adventures of a group of young adults who have escaped a terrible labyrinth, only to realise that the outside world has fallen to ruin. They embark on one last daring rescue mission to save one of their own, and the fate of the world may very well rest on the outcome of this final adventure.
What appeals to me about the series is how it focuses on action, suspense, and good storytelling – without devolving into melodramatic contrivances to draw out the plot. “Maze Runner: The Death Cure” is no different in this respect, drawing upon the strength of the friendship between Thomas (Dylan O’Brien) and Newt (Thomas Brodie-Sangster) to create drama and empathy in the story. You don’t have to watch the previous two instalments to understand the great friendship between the pair, although viewers of the entire series are rewarded for knowing the context behind their previous trials.
Despite returning for another minor romantic entanglement with Thomas, Teresa (Kaya Scodelario) doesn’t have as much screen time as you’d expect. Their romance is resolved to some degree of satisfaction, but since their interactions are fairly limited, you don’t see it develop as much as the main character’s other relationships. Then again, “Maze Runner: The Death Cure” does prioritise platonic relationships over romantic ones, so it fits into the theme of the overall tale.
Character deaths? Yes, you can expect some. Sadly, not all of my favourite characters made it past this final film. Some deaths were warranted, although other deaths weren’t as impactful as other passings in the film series. Personally, I didn’t expect that I would have so much emotional investment in the relationships between the characters, especially since “Maze Runner” is ostensibly an action series. In short, my favourite character(s) died.
The premise of the film is rather interesting, given the wasteland setting that we’ve seen. It puts the characters in an urban setting (something we’ve hardly seen) and provides a fairly compelling background for its existence. Additionally, it does adhere to the basic premise of the series (ie, the heroes running through a maze), but it does afford for some unique scenes that inject variety into the story.
When it comes to action, “Maze Runner: The Death Cure” delivers heartily. The characters are constantly endangered, diving out of risky situations, and getting rescued in all sorts of spectacular ways that evoke the feel of theme park rides. They feel like giant roller coaster rides, proceeding at a clear pace (so you understand what’s happening) that still manages to be action-packed and exciting. The first thing that popped into mind was that the “Maze Runner” series could have been turned into an engaging theme park ride, complete with literal and metaphorical twists and turns.
There’s a bittersweet aftertaste to how “Maze Runner: The Death Cure” ends, especially with some of the casualties in this final film. Most importantly, it brings closure to the series and comes full circle by referencing the events of the first film (with some choice shots of the eponymous maze that started the story). “Maze Runner: The Death Cure” is probably one of the most well-executed finales for a young adult series, and deserves your time (as do the rest of the films).
Should you watch this at weekend movie ticket prices? Yes.
Should you watch this more than once? Nah.
Running time: 142 minutes (~2.25 hours)
Secret ending? No.
“Maze Runner: The Death Cure” is a young adult, post-apocalyptic action film that’s the third in the “Maze Runner” franchise. It is based on the book “The Death Cure”.
The film is directed by Wes Ball and written by T.S. Nowlin. It stars Dylan O’Brien (Teresa), Kaya Scodelario (Teresa), Thomas Brodi-Sangster (Newt), Dexter Darden (Frypan), Nathalie Emmanuel (Harriet), Giancarlo Esposito (Jorge), Aidan Gillen (Jasnon), Walton Goggins (Lawrence), and Ki Hong Lee (Minho). It is rated PG-13.
You might also want to read:
- [Movie Review] “The Maze Runner” enthralls you with good old-fashioned storytelling
- [Movie Review] ‘Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials’ has a perfect balance of action and drama
This is an original article on marcusgohmarcusgoh.com
I’m a Singapore television scriptwriter who’s written for Lion Mums, Crimewatch, Police & Thief, and Incredible Tales. I’m also a Transformers enthusiast and avid pop culture scholar. You can find me on social media as Optimarcus and on my site.
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