We’ve been following The Maze Runner film series since its first outing back in 2014. A somewhat confusing but thoroughly entertaining Young Adult action flick, the Dylan O’Brien led series kicked off with an almighty bang. Following on from the first solid film, The Scorch Trials came around an entire year later and offered yet more bewilderment and yet more amusement. Still, it had a market and lots of fans as well as a young cast who’d attract audiences far and wide.
Three years later, delayed owing to a serious accident on set involving O’Brien, the final episode of the trilogy is, indeed, upon us. But can The Death Cure live up to the previous outings? Yes, because it is extremely perplexing yet highly enjoyable with an extra dose of emotion for the ride.
OK. So, let’s try to explain the plot which is a haphazard 28 Days Later meets Divergent meets Hunger Games type deal.It revolves around a group of kids who were once trapped in a maze called The Glade, only to escape and find themselves in a world ravaged by a disease. Believing that these group of spunky children are the key to survival, they are pursued by science company WCKD (no, really, the bad guys are called Wicked.) In this episode, leader Thomas is trying to hunt down one of their own Minho, and is still bitter about his girlfriend Teresa defecting to the bad guys. They have to invade the last standing city in order to find the cure…The Death Cure.
See, here’s the thing: Young Adult adaptations are a safe bet. They already have an audience that are going to flock to the movie regardless. All the movies have the same vibe: Teenagers fighting a corrupt system. There’s explosions, there’s emotions, there’s everything -crammed into an exhausting two and a half hours.
The Death Cure is nothing special besides it’s willing to cast a diverse set of actors AND kill off characters that people have become attached to (so, like Game of Thrones, be prepared.) There are glorious action sequences though: One involving a bus will have you gripping the edge of the seat. Yes, I suppose, we should throw some praise to O’Brien for being muti-layered in his Thomas, flanked by Thomas Brodie Sangster and Kaya Scodelario as the best support. That’s saying something because their dialogue is cliched and repetitive.
It’s not that I don’t admire Wes Ball. He has an admirable skill at crafting beauty out of the action. Aiden Gillen drenched in gun smoke or the canvas of a camp floating in the wind, these are all signs of a director who should really go for a more artistic independent now his epic trilogy has concluded (and, hopefully, he’ll get more work.) It’s just that The Death Cure is an OK and average affair, sure to set the hearts fluttering of any one obsessed with the series.
For anyone skimming the outskirts of that, it’s going to fail to intrigue or excite.
Maze Runner: The Death Cure is out 26 Jan!