Reel Shorts | Maze Runner: The Death Cure

by Charles Kirkland Jr.

Another a-maze-ing adventure awaits as Thomas leads the gladers as they embark on a rescue mission in the final chapter of The Maze Runner series.

When we last saw Thomas and crew, they were escaping the clutches of WCKD (pronounced “wicked”). Well, not all of them. Minho was captured thanks to Teresa’s betrayal and taken away for testing. So in this episode, The Death Cure, the gang pulls off a daring rescue assault on the transport train in order to save him. As they liberate the captives, they discover Minho was not on the car. Since it took them six months to plan this heist, all hope for saving their buddy seems lost. Undaunted, Thomas decides to go to WCKD headquarters in the last city of the world to save him. Upon arrival, Thomas quickly learns that this task with the help of a few old friends may not truly be an impossible mission and his world may never be the same again.

The Maze Runner: The Death Cure is the latest and final episode in the trilogy based on the books by James Dashner. This adrenaline-fueled installment in the series is definitely the most action-packed and explosive of the three movies. The action seems incredibly familiar though. The opening sequence looks like it came straight from the Fast and Furious series with Dylan O’Brien even looking like Paul Walker in a couple of the scenes. In another scene toward the end of the movie, an action scene from Swordfish occurs. While no one is labeling this movie a zombie movie, The Flare, the disease infecting everyone, looks a whole lot like it has created zombies But everyone knows that there are few new ideas in Hollywood. Or are there?

The plot of The Death Cure seems absolutely too simple. Thomas convinces all of the people who have escaped WCKD to go back within the reaches of the company to save one man. Not all of the people captured. Not to take down the company. To save Minho! Despite the inane storyline and weirdly confusing conclusion, there are some pretty large twists and surprises that also make this crazy plot work. The Death Cure is engaging and even at times very engrossing.

The ensemble cast which already included the great Giancarlo Esposito (Breaking Bad, The Usual Suspects) and Barry Pepper (Monster Trucks, Knockaround Guys, Saving Private Ryan) who joined during the last installment, The Scorch Trials, gets the addition of Walton Goggins (Justified, The Hateful Eight, Django Unchained) as a “Flare” burned “crank” who leads the rebellion against WCKD. Goggins’ Lawrence has a horrific magnetism that you just can’t ignore. Goggins’ signature swagger permeates the makeup of his character to communicate the confidence a good leader should possess.

Wes Ball does an adequate job of amping up the energy and focus of this nonsensical work in order to inhibit the viewer’s ability to think about what is happening. By keeping the focus on the action and keeping the action to the fore, no one is burdened with wondering about motivation and/or plausibility.

Rated PG-13 for intense scenes of sci-fi violence and action, language and some thematic elements, The Death Cure is a mildly satisfying finale to a series that has been plagued with problems. It is meant for youth and young adult audiences so be careful when taking the younger ones…and the older ones for that matter.

Grade: C+

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