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January 21, 2018

Maze Runner Finale Will Only Appeal to Hardcore Fans

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Written by: Byron D. Zero
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My first movie review entry for 2018 was a journey into rather unfamiliar territory, “Young Adult novels.” As a rule I tend to avoid most YA stories as I am at least twice the age as many of the leads and I find their anti-authoritarian message to be contrived, exceptions being Harry Potter and The Hunger Games. With that said I have little to no knowledge about The Maze Runner trilogy of books, and only a vague awareness of the preceding films.

Maze Runner: The Death Cure takes place after the events of The Scorch Trials. Thomas (Dylan O’Brien), Newt (Thomas Brodie-Sangster) and Frypan (Dexter Darden) are the last of the “Gladers” immune to the Flare virus that infected the world. Against the orders of The Right Arm resistance group lead by Vince (Barry Pepper), the three leave their camp base to rescue their immune friend Minho, who is being tested by the organization WCKD for a Flare cure, heading for the Last City where WCKD’s headquarters is located. Which leads to a final showdown with series antagonist Janson (Aidan Gillen).

The movie was easy enough to follow if you have seen any action movie in the past 40 years, which is easily one of The Death Cure‘s biggest problems. It is far too predictable to really invest any emotion into if you are not already a fan of this series. It follows a ton of overly used clichés like Janson seemingly being one step ahead of Thomas most of the movie, and a spoiler face-turn toward the end.

Music was generic post-apocalyptic background that was forgettable at best.

Overall it had decent acting, especially from the likes of Pepper and Giancarlo Esposito, however I felt the script tended to beat his ethnicity over your head a bit too much.

But the narrative was absurdly weak, the tools for a resolution that could benefit everyone in this world were laid out, but they simply choose not to. It was as if the characters were immune to the common sense virus, and it made the end feel borderline pretentious and idiotic. I found myself asking one simple question, “What the hell happened?!”

Did I like this movie? No.

Did I hate it? I’m not sure.

I blame part of this on the book adaptation curse of most YA franchises. They tend to be overly ambitious in their attempt to capture what makes the story work in book form.

However, author T.S. Nowlin, who co-wrote the first and wrote the second film, also adapted Maze Runner: The Death Cure. This tells me that books have the same level pretension that weighed this movie down.

So after all that I have no desire to watch the previous films, nor read the source material, but if you are between the ages of 10 and 14 (physically and/mentally) check it out.

I give Maze Runner: The Death Cure a 2 out of 5.

About the Author

Byron D. Zero



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