I remember being blown away after seeing The Maze Runner back in 2014. With all the other teeange franchises then like Hunger Games and Divergent, it was still able to find its niche. It also gave birth to a new male lead star in the person of Dylan O’Brien, who intially came to be known as the trusty sidekick in Teen Wolf. Almost three years after part two, does Maze Runner: The Death Cure’offer us a deserving finale to this saga?
It opens with an adrenaline-pumped train seige sequence to set the tone and establish that our protagonists have definitely grown up from their supposedly teenage beginnings as lab rats in WCKD’s maze. We’re off to a good start. +2
After the first two installments and his latest film American Assassin, Dylan proves that he really is now a lead star and can headline action-packed flicks, much like how Taylor Lautner was until his career-ruining flops Abduction and Tracers (These practically left him nowhere at the moment). Okay, he seems like a bad example to compare O’Brien to, but as long as he does not commit the same mistake of choosing bad projects next, he could be like the next Keanu Reeves or something. +3
The film seems to be anchored on Finding Minho (Ki Hong Lee) and though at times this premise borders on the almost absurd that the film’s protagonists would risk it all for him, it manages to be believable and adds to upping the stakes to make you more invested in the plot that this finale is selling. +1
I’ve loved the character, Teresa (Kaya Scodelario) ever since finding out she’s actually one of the ‘bad guys.’ But more than that, its her character’s complexity that I’m drawn, too. Or maybe it’s her smoldering eyes. Well, Thomas is smitten despite everything she’s done so that has weight. +3
And then there’s the third party martyr, Brenda (Rosa Salazar), whose relationship and ‘interaction’ w/ Thomas becomes a turning point in the story. I loved how restrained the film was in pushing this story thread. I could just imagine that if the film was done by one of our studios here, it would be a full-blown love triangle amidst a burning apocalypse. LOL. +2
The friendship card is definitely pushed in this final installment and without giving any spoilers, the loss of one of Thomas’s best friends ends up being a teeny bit melodramatic. But in this case since its the finale, it feels just right to go that route. +1
I love book-ending touches, and the film does that with its chase scenes and the twist comes out of nowhere. Vaguely intrigued? That’s my subtle way of telling you to see it for yourself. +3
Aptly titled, the Death Cure that WCKD has been looking for all along, was staring them at the eye. It also becomes the perfect twist to end the trilogy. +2
The film’s epic-ness felt like a real finale with the gated city almost burning to the ground. There is so much going on that it feels like the only choice is despair. And as the stakes are set at their highest and you thought that everything would end well, as most epics do, it leaves you with one last twist that pinches at your cardiovasvular organ. Ouch. A finale it is. +4
After finishing the trilogy, it felt like I watched three totally different films from different franchises when it came to its mood and tone. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing since they were all done by just one director (Wes Ball), but I guess it also had something to do with how this trilogy of books shapeshifted in a way, story-wise. Well, I still enjoyed it with a total of 21 points, though if I were to choose my favorite among the three, it would still be the first. I also suggest that you catch up on the first two films again to enjoy this finale to the fullest. Oh, and if you’re the emotional type of movie-goer, bring some tissue.
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Photographs courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation