Maze Runner: The Death Cure

 

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The final episode in this adaptation of James Dashner’s literary series is even sillier than its predecessors.

 
Maze Runner: The Death Cure

 

The neat thing about the first Maze Runner (2014) was the mystery of it all. The characters, like the audience, were completely baffled. Waking from a drug-induced sleep, they found themselves trapped in a strange ‘glade’ surrounded by a maze of moveable monoliths of stone and iron. WTF? With no memory of their past lives, these desperate young men discover that the only way to escape is to try and out-run the monoliths before being squished. The sequel, Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials (2015) – also adapted from James Dashner’s literary trilogy – opened the story out to reveal a dystopian world in which our heroes are pursued by merciless, enigmatic forces. And now, three years later, Thomas (Dylan O'Brien), Newt (Thomas Brodie-Sangster) and their fellow resistance fighters must try and infiltrate the last city on earth to save their fellow runner Minho (Ki Hong Lee). You see, he, like them, appears to be immune to a terrible virus that has ravaged the earth. Ah, that begins to explain things…

 

There is so much going on in Maze Runner: The Death Cure that it might have benefitted from being partitioned into two films. However, that would not have spared us its repetition nor its silliness. Anyone with a passing knowledge of physics, ballistics, pyrotechnics or even the properties of plate glass will just laugh for all the wrong reasons. But even that might have been forgiven had the film’s tone been a little more tongue-in-cheek. As it is, it is all terribly serious, as if it were dishing up this dystopian nonsense for the first time in cinema history. Anybody who hasn’t been exposed to The Hunger Games, the Divergent film series, The Cabin in the Woods, World War Z, Stephen King’s Under the Dome, Mad Max Fury Road, or any number of similar escapades, might be seriously surprised. Others will just be looking for any semblance of originality.

 

As the villain, the Irish actor Aidan Gillen provides a modicum of novelty by whispering most of his dialogue. Then he shoots a character in the back as she is standing directly in front of our hero. She goes down like a ninepin but our hero is unscathed. How on earth did she stop a bullet at close range? As for the plate glass, it seems to have a life of its own depending on the demands of the plot. But, besides the dumb dialogue, the film’s worst fault is the endless succession of last-minute rescues. Once might have been forgivable, but to turn the cliché into a recurring motif is downright lazy and insulting.

 

JAMES CAMERON-WILSON

 

Cast: Dylan O'Brien, Kaya Scodelario, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Nathalie Emmanuel, Giancarlo Esposito, Aidan Gillen, Walton Goggins, Ki Hong Lee, Barry Pepper, Will Poulter, Patricia Clarkson, Rosa Salazar, Jacob Lofland.

 

Dir Wes Ball, Pro Ellen Goldsmith-Vein, Wyck Godfrey, Marty Bowen, Joe Hartwick Jr, Wes Ball and Lee Stollman, Screenplay T.S. Nowlin, Ph Gyula Pados, Pro Des Daniel T. Dorrance, Ed Dan Zimmerman, Music John Paesano, Costumes Sanja Milkovic Hays.

 

Gotham Group/Temple Hill Entertainment/Oddball Entertainment-20th Century Fox.

141 mins. USA. 2018. Rel: 26 January 2018. Cert. 12A.