Director: Wes Ball
Screenplay: T.S. Nowlin
Starring: Dylan O'Brien, Kaya Scodelario, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Nathalie Emmanuel, Giancarlo Esposito, Aidan Gillen, Walton Goggins, Ki Hong Lee, Barry Pepper, Will Poulter, Patricia Clarkson
Runtime: 142 Minutes
Maze Runner: The Death Cure is the final instalment of the YA trilogy of books by James Dashner, accepting that as a fact in 2018 is exhausting in and of itself. In a mad dash to capitalise off the success and closure of the Harry Potter and Twilight franchises, so many of these science fiction books – predominantly focused on teenagers fighting against an authoritarian system and playing into the trials of young adult life – were adapted so fast that not only did many of them stall or fail to land, they all just seemed to blend into one another.
This comes after a troubled production following lead actor Dylan O'Brien sustaining injuries while filming. So, it’s late arrival has pretty much passed the point of not only popularity and only devoted fans of the books and the last two mostly forgettable films will be wanting to seek it out in any form.
To those who are still following, here we see young hero Thomas (O'Brien) embark on a mission with his friends to find a cure for a deadly disease known as "The Flare", after being double-crossed by love interest Teresa (Kaya Scodelario).
It’s pretty much a non-stop climax that goes on for a little too long with a few too many characters at any one time, but there are one or two performances and reappearances that work. The benefit this has over its predecessor is that besides the closure it offers to the narrative – which turned out to be as predictable as it had always seemed – series director Wes Ball has some fun with its set pieces.
The emotional connection isn’t really there, but sequences such as an opening train heist and the final half hour blowout of rioting and explosions are pretty well managed and engaging enough. Especially during an uninvolving but marginally well-paced stretch involving the heroes’ infiltration mission into the base of evil corporation WCKD (really) that plays like the climax of Rogue One.
The Maze Runner series has gone on for too long, and this final chapter is more of the same. Taken too seriously for its own good, but the action is decently mounted and the long-term members of the cast are putting in adequate work.