The Maze Runner: The Death Cure
Time Out says
A sporadically exciting trilogy closer set in an all-too-familiar dystopian landscape
Somewhere between the beloved, blockbusting ‘Hunger Games’ and the fizzled-out ‘Divergent’ franchise, Young Adult dystopia has found its uncomfortable middle ground in director Wes Ball’s ‘Maze Runner’ trilogy.
Adapted from James Dashner’s novel, this weighty third chapter continues the series’s concerted journey away from the intensely contained, high-concept action-puzzle milieu of 2014’s ‘The Maze Runner’ into less interesting, more familiar genre territory. So where last instalment ‘The Scorch Trials’ took us out of the monster-stalked labyrinth into a parched, depopulated ‘Mad Max’-meets-‘I Am Legend’ wasteland, ‘The Death Cure’ draws us into a skyscraper-packed, ‘Blade Runner’-ish metropolis. ‘I know it’s hard, but act like you’ve seen it before,’ one character says to gawping young hero Thomas (Dylan O’Brien) on arrival. No, not hard at all.
Having survived robot-spider-things and raging zombies, the earnest Thomas and his fresh-faced compadres are on a mission to rescue their one-time maze-running bro, Minho (Ki Hong Lee), having lost him to shady white-coat corporation WCKD following a devastating act of betrayal by Thomas’s kinda-girlfriend Teresa (Kaya Scodelario). For Teresa, the end (saving humanity from a killer virus) justifies the means (torturing virus-immune children to extract serum). For Thomas, freedom – from human lab-rat torture, mostly – is paramount.
The moral wrangling doesn’t get more complex than that, and takes a back seat to the action, which maintains a zippy momentum throughout the over-generous 142-minute running time. Ball is a sure-handed set-piece orchestrator and has a good ear for whams and bangs, which here variously involve trains, cranes and automobiles. So for the core crowd (millennial and below) it should add up to a satisfyingly sustained, uncomplicated adrenaline jag. But any longer-in-the-tooth fans of gritty sci-fi action will find nothing very compelling here.
By: Dan Jolin
Cast and crew