Maze Runner: The Death Cure – Film Review

I liked the first two Maze Runner books and their film adaptations but the third instalment, which was delayed due to Dylan O’Brien‘s onset accident, kinda snuck up on me. I had forgotten about it, couldn’t really remember what happened previously, and didn’t have time to read the book. Despite this, I actually enjoyed it a lot.

The film continues where The Scorch Trials left off (I’d recommend a quick read of the plot beforehand) – with original Maze dwellers Thomas (O’Brien), Newt (Thomas Brodie-Sangster), Frypan (Dexter Darden) and their new allies Brenda (Rosa Salazar) and Jorge (Giancarlo Esposito) trying to free survivors from a WCKD train. However, they don’t rescue the person they most wanted to find – Minho (Ki Hong Lee) – so they set out on a new mission to track him down at WCKD’s headquarters, where traitor Teresa (Kaya Scodelario) works as a scientist.

I wasn’t enthusiastic about the film and it hadn’t received much promo or press buzz and the opening action scene didn’t really draw me in, but after that, I was fully involved. It has been away for a while but it doesn’t take long for the characters and storylines to come flooding back. It isn’t the best of the recent YA book adaptations and it is very similar to Divergent, particularly this time around, but it was entertaining and exciting, possibly more so because I didn’t know what was going to happen.

The film is 2 hours and 20 minutes which is really long and the action did start to drag – what I thought was the third act was actually just the second – but I’m glad they crammed all the contents of the book into one movie than split it across two like The Hunger Games et al.  It does move fast and packs in many plot points but I just got a bit bored of the action by the end. It’s not just an action film though – there are moments of horror, thriller and a couple of poignant and unexpected major character deaths.

Considering how badly injured O’Brien was, it is a miracle he came back at all so I was impressed with his performance – he handles the action with ease, does a fantastic screen run and tackles the emotional side, even though the script is somewhat lacking.

My interest in the franchise has certainly diminished due to the two-year break, which is a shame because this is actually good. It is certainly better than the second instalment and different and more mature this time around. The world-building is impressive, the CGI is excellent, the cast (also including Aidan Gillen and Patricia Clarkson) do a solid job and the ending is satisfying.

In cinemas now

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