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Maze Runner: The Death Cure – Movie Review

maze runner death cure posterAt the end of the second Maze Runner movie, The Scorch Trials, there is a giant action sequence, a giant betrayal, and our heroes are left in an incredibly dire situation. I remember thinking, “Well, that movie wasn’t great, but I can’t wait to see the sequel.”

I shouldn’t have gotten my hopes up quite so much.

The Maze Runner series has tried repeatedly to show it’s better than the ersatz generic-brand Hunger Games, and this final film in their trilogy does nothing to dispel that notion.

However, it’s not all bad. And Thomas Brodie-Sangster, always drastically underused in the last two films, gets all the due he needs in this movie. If you love Newt, get ready to love every second he’s on screen.

The rest of the film never quite takes off or coalesces into something greater than the sum of its parts. It’s also overly long and has one too many plot “twists” that are entirely too predictable.

Its supporting cast, however, are doing all they can. I already mentioned Sangster, but beyond him, Giancarlo Esposito also seems to relish his screentime, although he isn’t quite the unpredictable, resourceful scoundrel of Scorch Trials. Aiden Gillen really should’ve grown out a mustache for this role so he could twirl it with all the cartoonish villainy he is channeling here. And then Walton Goggins shows up for an all-too-brief cameo and steals every scene he’s in. It’s just not enough.

The problem, as with its predecessors, is the film is just a bit thin. Its attempts at dystopian social commentary fall flat, because there really isn’t much more to say beyond, “Yeah, having a giant corporation called WCKD (it sounds like “wicked”– we get it) control every aspect of medicine, police/military, etc during an apocalyptic plague is a bad way to run society.” When it’s not being overly blunt, it loses any sort of messaging in over the top, ridiculous action scenes.

Fans of this series will go see this conclusion and will likely be satisfied. This is definitely the best of the three Maze Runner films– but that is not saying much. With so many of the films nominated for multiple awards now being put more widely into theaters to capitalize on their nominations, you’d be much better off checking one of them out than this.

2.5 out of 5 stars