Maze Runner: The Death Cure movie poster
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Maze Runner: The Death Cure
Maze Runner: The Death Cure movie poster

Maze Runner: The Death Cure Movie Review

Now available on Blu-ray and DVD (Buy on Amazon)

The Maze Runner: The Death Cure wraps up the underappreciated young adult trilogy in the same fashion as its predecessors: as an entertaining, good but not great action-thriller that features a notable lack of mazes and still revolves around a virus that for some yet-to-be-explained reason required the main characters to be trapped in a giant, expensive labyrinth in the middle of the desert.

Director Wes Ball returns alongside star Dylan O’Brien, who overcame a serious on-set injury (think: brain trauma and facial scars) to play the act-before-he-thinks Thomas, to deliver a pretty solid if slightly unremarkable action film. It’s way too long, struggles to wrap up a few character arcs, and would have benefited from some streamlining, but it also presents one of the better young adult finales since Harry Potter concluded years ago.

The movie begins with an intense sort-of train robbery sequence, well shot and full of suspense. Oddly, the characters, many of whom technically should have no knowledge or memory of what a train even is, somehow managed to plot and execute an elaborate scheme that did not involve checking to see if their target was even on the train, aside from banging on the walls and listening for a response.

But never mind that.

From there, Ball throws evil government officials, zombies, deformed rebels and other challenges at the protagonists, each of which work well enough on their own but combined start to feel like a bit much. As fast-paced and exciting as The Death Cure can be, the movie, and especially its audience, would have benefited from some fat trimming. There always seems to be at least one or two too many things going on, and the climax goes on forever, an impressive collage of action sequences that simply become tiring after a while. Half of the stuff in the end could have been cut and no one would complain.

And don’t think too hard about how (spoilers) rebels with rocket launchers are able to take down a city’s worth of skyscrapers.

I’m also still confused as to why putting young men into a maze (and building the maze in the first place) was an effective way to develop a serum to combat the virus.

But never mind that; it’s not like it’s the focal point of the entire series.

The Maze Runner: The Death Cure is an entertaining and well made action film. It’s built on a less-solid foundation, though, that can’t quite escape its young adult trappings and tendencies. It’s good, but a simpler story, and maybe a maze or something, would have gone a long way.

Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.

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