Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Movie Review: Maze Runner: The Death Cure

The conclusion of the Maze Runner series has plenty of action and stunning visual effects while the story falls into a generic format. Thomas (Dylan O'Brien) rallies the members of his group that are still free to assault prison transport trains at the start of the film. They are searching for Minho (Ki Hong Lee) who was captured but the prisoners they free are other members of the group. Minho is still transported to the last city much to the dismay of Thomas and Newt (Thomas Brodie-Sangster). Thomas helps the prisoners return to a dock where they are hiding out. Vince (Barry Pepper) is leading the group and plans to leave soon on a repaired cruise ship. Brenda (Rosa Salazar) has fully recovered from her bite thanks to Thomas's blood but Jorge (Giancarlo Esposito) still worries about her.

Thomas decides to take it upon himself to leave to save Minho but Newt doesn't let him go while Frypan (Dexter Dardan) also insists on going along. The three of them head out in a reinforced jeep but they encounter monstrous cranks and flip their car. They would not have survived but Jorge and Brenda show up to bail them out. Together they head to the last city but find that it is surrounded by large walls. There are people stuck on the outside who are infected with the flare virus but haven't turned into cranks yet. Thomas had a tracker injected into his neck and Janson (Aidan Gillen) tries to kill him. They manage to survive with the help of a masked individual who reveals himself to be Gally (Will Poulter). Thomas is shocked to see him and angry at him for killing Chuck but Gally tells them he can help them through the wall.

Teresa (Kaya Scodelario) is working on a cure with Ava Paige (Patricia Clarkson) but their attempts fail after showing signs of possible success. Teresa has no problem torturing Minho is it means helping others. Gally brings Thomas and the group to Lawrence (Walton Goggins) who agrees to help them. They sneak into the city but find no way of making it into the WCKD headquarters. Newt suggests using Teresa but Thomas balks angering Newt who reveals to Thomas that he is infected. Thomas agrees and lures Teresa away so that Gally can kidnap her. They tell Teresa their plan and she agrees to help them reluctantly. She notices Brenda is healed and suspects Thomas's blood may be more powerful.

The group breaks into WCKD headquarters and searches for Minho freeing other immune kids on the way. Janson confronts them but Teresa helps Thomas escape. They find Minho and stage a dramatic escape including a bus driven by Brenda being lifted into the air by a crane driven by Frypan. Thomas, Newt, and Minho leap out a window to escape and Gally helps them. Lawrence stages a huge attack on the city and the group are about to get out but Newt's illness progresses to the point he can't go any further. He starts to turn into a crank and attacks Thomas dying from a knife accidentally stabbing him in the heart. Teresa calls to Thomas needing more of his blood and he complies entering WCKD headquarters to talk with Ava who is suddenly shot by Janson. Teresa harnesses the cure but has a change of heart just before Janson can cure himself and they fight for the vial. Janson is killed by cranks. Teresa and Thomas escape to the rooftop where Jorge flies a plan. The building collapses and Teresa dies. Thomas lives and makes it to the island where the group remembers all they lost and wraps up the series.

Maze Runner: The Death Cure has sparks of interesting fiction but also suffers from plenty of cliche YA plot points. The last city looks cool and the special effects were impressive at points. The acting hasn't improved much especially as the story focuses more on the young cast and doesn't give as much room to supporting characters. I did like parts of the series and it felt like a satisfying conclusion to a series that had some decent parts but never took off to achieve excellence of similar films. I am glad I took the time to watch the series but understand how it would not be taken seriously. 

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