The Death Cure is the third and final installment in the Maze Runner series and sees Thomas(Dylan O’Brien) and his friends leading a final assault on WCKD’s headquarters in order to rescue any of the immune children held captive and if possible, find a cure for the Crank Virus.
I wasn’t particularly excited to see another Maze Runner film, but at this point, I’d already seen the first two, so I felt a sort of obligation to see it. That said, after Scorch Trials, I didn’t exactly expect a masterpiece. One problem I feel the film may have for some people is that it’s been too long since Scorch Trials came out, but I only watched the film about a week ago, so I never had that problem.
The first Maze Runner‘s strongest aspect was the mystery and intrigue that came with it and the Scorch Trials had some amazing stunt work, but The Death Cure’s definitive aspect for me was the brotherly bond between the main characters, particularly Thomas and Newt. This is probably the best developed friendship of this nature since the Harry Potter series and it culminates in a beautiful moment between the two of them. Unfortunately, for the final film in the series, The Death Cure is really underwhelming and plays out as a small, drawn out action sequence that only escalates in the last half hour or so focusing only on five or six main characters while most of the new characters we met in The Scorch Trials basically drop out of the film after the first action sequence. Also, the film never really fleshes out the logistics of how the Crank Virus works. In the previous film, we see that the virus takes very little time to severely infect someone, but here we have a character who is infected at the start and remains so for most of the film. There’s also a character who is fully conscious, but is infected and seems to be on some kind of crank induces life support. I’m sure the book explains this, but I think the film would have greatly benefited from some kind of explanation on the virus during the scenes in which we see the scientists developing the cure.
Dylan O’Brien is as dedicated and charismatic as ever in The Death Cure. He even got run over by a car filming one of his stunts. If that isn’t dedication, I don’t know what is. However, Thomas Sangster really steals the show as Newt who acts as Thomas’s emotional center and the heart of the film. The film goes out of its way to try and justify Teresa’s character, but it just feels like there’s a plot element missing that was probably in the book. Walton Goggins is in the film as the aforementioned crank on life support and he’s completely wasted in a very thematically interesting role. There’s a scene where Minho played by Ki Hong Lee has to express a lot of fear though a violent outburst. However, this scene comes off as more comedic because of Lee’s acting. He’s fine other than that one scene though, but I think that scene would have really been a great moment for his character and for him as an actor.
The film’s soundtrack is pretty bland for the most part, which is really disappointing because I liked a lot of stuff from the first two. It fails to really build on the scores from the first two and instead just uses generic action melodies. That said, I still enjoyed some of it.
Cues I Liked:
- We Started This Together
- Teresa’s Plea
- Chat with Teresa
- Please Tommy, Please
- I’m Sorry
The film begins with a pretty cool action sequence on a train(The one Dylan O’Brien got injured shooting) that feels a little derivative of something from Mad Max or Uncharted. The film’s third act has this great riot sequence that happens as a sort of backdrop to the final battle that was visually very well done.
Despite a very strong chemistry between the cast members and some great visuals, The Death Cure suffers from a weak script and some poorly developed characters.