The End Will Be WCKD
It’s been three years since “The Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials” hit the big screen. After an overlong hiatus, due to the serious injury of Dylan O’Brien, the franchise is back with a bang to give us its’ final chapter. “The Maze Runner: The Death Cure” opens as Thomas (Dylan O’Brien) and his friends attempt a hijacking of one of WCKD’s train cars in-search-of Minho (Ki Hong Lee). This sequence not only opens the film, but it does a great job of setting the tone and initiating viewers, both fans and new, to the film. After, they must find a new place to fortify the rest of the group. Their mission, to infiltrate WCKD’s most controlled and high-tech city as the last space of safety on the map; controlled by Janson (Aidan Gillen) and Ava Paige (Patricia Clarkson) A city full of beautiful images, technology, and creations; jumping-off the screen in a dazzling fashion. After a failed attempt, the group, also including Newt (Thomas Brodie-Sangster), Frypan (Dexter Darden), Aris (Jacob Lofland), Vince (Barry Pepper), Brenda (Rosa Salazar), and Jorge (Giancarlo Esposito), soon run-into a familiar face from the past, Gally (Will Poulter). Once inside, Thomas discovers that traitorous friend, Teresa (Kaya Scodelario) is there and working to discover the cure that will save the planet. As the clock is winding down, the group has limited time to complete their mission and save as many as they can.
First, I must mention this as a disclaimer; I have not seen either two of the previous “Maze Runner” films. Actually, I had to get a quick synopsis on each before seeing “The Maze Runner: The Death Cure”. While I admit that my expectations were extremely-low going into the film, I must say that you all (especially the die-hard fan base) will be happy to know that I was pleasantly surprised by the film. Now, that’s not to say that “The Maze Runner: The Death Cure” is by any means a great film; it still follows in the footsteps of its YA ancestors in making the same over-blown mistakes and predictable plot elements. So much of the film is painfully predictable, from its opening to its climax. Also, as we’ve come to expect from previous Young Adult adventures/franchises, so much of dialog and character’s actions are over-the-top and highly-dramatized. However, at its heart the film is more about concluding the story rather that introducing new material and, as an outside viewer, the film’s action sequences are well done and exciting and the characters are interesting and multi-layered as well. The film has plenty of excitement and the last 20 minutes will have you thoroughly entertained. At 142 minutes long, the film does suffer during its middle third as the story becomes convoluted and over-complicated. While I managed to find some enjoyment out of the film, I can absolutely say that fans of the franchise will be more than pleased with “The Maze Runner: The Death Cure”. I was never the target audience for this film, but as a critic, I can’t help but to appreciate the storytelling depth and well-executed sequences in the film and the excitement that fans are about to experience around the World!
THE MAZE RUNNER: THE DEATH CURE is rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action, language, and some thematic elements, in theaters JANUARY 26TH!