Released: 18th January 2018 (Australia)
Seen: 18th January 2018
Directed by: Wes Ball
Written by: T.S. Nowlin
Produced by: Gotham Group, Temple Hill Entertainment, Twentieth Century Fox
Starring: Dylan O’Brien, Kaya Scodelario, Thomas Brodie-Sangster & Ki Hong Lee
Before we begin, some disclosure. I have not read any of the Maze Runner books so I cannot comment on how good this is as an adaptation. I also have not seen the first or second movies, they came out when I was being stupidly selective and didn’t think they’d appeal to me which means that if there are plotholes between movies, I know nothing about them. I am going to rectify this problem though. I’ve now got the second movie on DVD waiting to watch later, the first movie is on reserve. I need to see all of them because I absolutely loved this movie.
Maze Runner: The Death Cure follows Thomas (Played by Dylan O’Brien) leading his group of friends on one final mission, breaking into the last city to save their friend Minho (Played by Ki Hong Lee) who is being held by a group of scientists, including Teresa (Played by Kaya Scodelario) who are trying to use Minho to find a cure for the illness that’s ravaged the human race. It’s a very simple plot and it works wonderfully on its own. This feels like it’s a concluding chapter to a long-fought epic, but it also works as a stand-alone. While there are some parts of this film that clearly are callbacks to the previous films or continuations of plot threads, every piece of key information that you need to understand the movie is given to you. I never ended up wondering who knew what because if it was essential, they made sure that information was there. It’s something that shouldn’t be that much of a shock, but good sequels always make sure that a newbie can watch them while bad sequels act like everyone is on board. This is a good sequel because it’s a good movie on its own.
The performances by the main cast are really good, Dylan is a natural leading male. I saw this to an extent when I saw him in American Assassin, but here is where he absolutely shines as the strong leading man this story requires. He manages to make you feel his anger and pain, his sorrow. We worry about his friends because we can see that he is hurting for them. The people around him are also charming as hell. Thomas Brodie-Sangster as Newt manages to be hilariously disarming while also managing to pull off some pretty emotional scenes. Kaya Scoldelario as Teresa has the tough task of going from a villain and a traitor to someone we might actually want to listen too. She has several really great moments, including a plotline where she’s trying to cure a young girl of the disease that turns people into… Zombies. I know they have some other name, but they’re zombies. The person who sadly gets most underused is Ki Hong Lee who spends most of the film strapped to a bed. He’s basically the damsel in distress of this film and I get that it might be part of the book, but I really wanted to see more of him in the lab, there’s next to no scenes with him so there are moments where you can just forget that he’s there.
The action setpieces are where this film shines, especially the final sequence of the movie which has some of the most jaw-dropping chase scenes imaginable. They clearly put a lot of work into making these setpieces and the way each one is set up is brilliant. Something that’s used in the opening scene is reused near the end and creates a nice bookend, while also providing a good amount of tension because we’ve seen it and we know the potential dangers. The first big action scene before the credits is especially good, not only exciting and has some great imagery but every newbie to this series should pay attention, this is where all that essential info is and it’s so cleverly worked in.
While this may not go down as a great action film, it’s certainly a fun one and a thrilling ride that will give you several hours of pulse-pounding intensity and some really fun characters that are worth spending a few hours with. It’s undoubtedly going to be a great ending chapter for the fans, but if you’ve never seen one of these movies then you can absolutely get a lot out of this one, just be prepared to have the urge to catch up on the series the minute you leave the cinema.