Title – Maze Runner: The Death Cure (2017)
Director – Wes Ball (The Maze Runner)
Cast – Dylan O’Brien, Kaya Scodelario, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Will Poulter, Giancarlo Esposito, Ki Hong Lee, Barry Pepper, Aidan Gillen
Plot – The Gladers, led by their hero Thomas (O’Brien), are gearing up to stop evil organisation WCKD from kidnapping anymore of their people, as the nation once known as America is further ravaged by the flare virus.
“We started it together; we might as well end it that way too”
Review by Eddie on 09/07/2018
Out of the series of high profile teenage dystopian books adapted for the big screen (Divergent, Hunger Games, The Giver are other such titles) over recent years, Wes Ball’s Maze Runner series has remained a constantly solid and often impressive adaptation of James Dashner’s story, even if the trilogy petered out slightly box office wise with the late arrival of last year’s The Death Cure.
Facing lengthy release delays due to it’s star Dylan O’Brien’s serious on-set injuries suffered during a stunt in Death Cure’s production, Ball’s film felt like it hit an eternity after the 2nd instalment Scorch Trials was unleashed on our cinema screen’s in 2015, yet despite a long time between dystopian drinks, Death Cure offers fans of the film’s a fitting, if overly long farewell that makes a solid argument for Ball’s trilogy to be considered the best of the teenage dystopian bunch.
For a film that’s budget is relatively low for such a high-end feature, Death Cure makes the most of the tools at its disposal to become a film that’s at its most thrilling and engaging when the action kicks in and from the impressive opening train chase, through to some fiery end carnage, Ball displays an impressive handling of the big-scale to give Death Cure some gravitas and spectacle that’s of a high-order, even if the character beats and engagement that was found early in the first film’s mysterious setting is largely lost here on its journey to tie up proceedings.
Fortunate enough to keep its core cast attached for the duration of the 3 – 4 year process, most performers here could now perform their respective roles in their sleep and Death Cure struggles to do much with its large collection of goodies and baddies with O’Brien’s Thomas in particular becoming a fairly bland hero as he looks to stop WCKD from kidnapping anymore of his immune friends as the Flare virus rages on around them.
Character actors such as Barry Pepper, Patricia Clarkson, Aiden Gillen, a make-up clad Walton Goggins (looking like a character directly out of a Fallout game) and Giancarlo Esposito all pop up to various degrees of success, but really this is the film led and anchored by the youngsters.
The biggest issue with Ball’s final entry is the aforementioned runtime, at nearly 2 and a half hours, Death Cure does overstay its welcome and feels like it would’ve benefited greatly from a tighter edit with all things considered.
Final Say –
It never reached grand heights, but with The Death Cure ringing in the end to the Maze Runner series we can now safely say this trilogy provided enough thrills and excitement to justify its existence and be regarded as the top cat of its dystopian classmates.
3 Walton “Ghoul” Goggins out of 5