Maze Runner: The Death Cure (2018) Review

If I would have to summarise the third and (thankfully!) final movie of the Maze Runner franchise, it’s all about “get in, get out, get in again and get the hell out for real”. That’s pretty much about this surprisingly lengthy final chapter, which overstretches to the breaking-point duration of 140 minutes (!). With a length like that, you would expect Maze Runner: The Death Cure at least packs enough meaty storyline to keep us intrigued. Instead, returning director Wes Ball and screenwriter T.S. Nowlin (who both collaborated in the previous two Maze Runner movies) spends a majority of the movie’s length cramming with chase after chase, till the point it becomes redundant.

So, in this third and final chapter of the Maze Runner franchise, Thomas (Dylan O’Brien) alongside his fellow resistance fighters Newt (Thomas Brodie-Sangster), Brenda (Rosa Salazar), Jorge (Giancarlo Esposito) and Frypan (Dexter Darden) risk their lives to go on a rescue mission to save their captured friend, Minho (Ki Hong Lee).

The plot is equally a letdown. Maze Runner: The Death Cure could have used some trimming to make the pace leaner and tighter. Problem is, the “fat” in the storyline is as banal as it goes. Basically, you can say this movie is nothing more than your garden-variety YA movie set in a post-apocalyptic world.

As for the cast, recurring stars including Dylan O’Brien, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Giancarlo Esposito and Rosa Salazar, are decent enough with their respective performances. But some of them are either disappointingly bland or plain annoying. For instance, co-star Kaya Scodelario continues to display zero chemistry with Dylan O’Brien since the first movie. Ki Hong Lee’s performance as Minho is sadly underutilised this time around. Patricia Clarkson is wasted in her antagonist role as Ava Paige, while Aidan Gillen’s Janson really gets on my nerve with his awfully generic villain who likes to talk too much than getting the job done. Finally, Walton Goggins shows up in a thankless supporting role as a rebel leader Lawrence, whose hideous-looking prosthetics on one side of his face is the only thing that caught my attention the most.

Despite most of its shortcomings, I have to admit that Wes Ball has grown more confident as an action director. The elaborate, opening train heist sequence is particularly a knockout. It’s almost like watching a scene from Fast and Furious. Other thrilling set-pieces worth mentioning here is the tunnel chase involving a horde of zombies (or better known as “Cranks”) and an engaging moment where the bus hangs in the air with the support of a crane.

Now that the Maze Runner franchise has finally ended once and for all, I hope that Ball’s talent can be put to a better use in the future movie project.

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