Whew. That’s over. And I thought it would never end.
“Maze Runner – The Death Cure” is one of the weaker young adult franchises. My favorite remains “The Hunger Games,” a well-written series of movies about characters with depth.
“The Maze Runner” book series has its fans, I know. But in the films the characters never seemed as interesting or memorable as they could have been. And the finale is the weakest of them all.
The story’s central character remains Thomas (Dylan O'Brien, whose on-set accident shut down production for this film for some time.) The show opens with Thomas and friends on the trail of a train that is headed toward the WCKD headquarters in Last City.
On board the train is Minho (Ki Hong Lee), whom Thomas and his crew want to rescue. This sequence is a good one, what with all the vehicles and chases in a kind of “Mad Max” atmosphere. The movie never is short on action, that’s for sure.
Thomas and his friends Newt (Thomas Brodie-Sangster), Frypan (Dexter Darden) and Brenda (Rosa Salazar) head to the headquarters of the evil corporation WCKD in the Last City. In the meantime, the “flare” virus continues to wipe out humanity.
Also at WCKD headquarters, where young people who are immune to the virus are being used to create a “death cure,” is Thomas’s love, Teresa (Kaya Scodelario), who is working on a cure for the virus. Meanwhile, the “cranks,” which is what zombies are called in this franchise, continue to multiply.
And, as is the case with most of these dystopian tales, only a handful of people are capable of saving humankind.
Not all of this makes sense, as characters make befuddling choices, apparently, just to keep the movie going.
Additionally, the story suffers from the Hesitant Villain Syndrome. Over and over, the villains have the heroes dead to rights: They’re within shooting distance, so it would make sense to, well, shoot them. But no. The villains hesitate, chatter and ignore every opportunity so the good guys can get away. This is an irritant in any movie, and it’s particularly annoying here when it happens multiple times.
The look of the environments is pretty interesting, especially with its use of color. But there is little character development amidst the action and the sets. Even the wonderful Patricia Clarkson and Giancarlo Esposition don’t have the right material to make their characters intriguing – a rarity.
If you’re a fan of this series, you’ll probably want to see this. As for me, I’m thankful to have completion for a series I never really could embrace.