Release Date: January 26, 2018
Director: Wes Ball
Writer: T.S. Nowlin, James Dashner
Cast: Rosa Salazar, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Dylan O’Brien, Kaya Scodelario, Walton Goggins, Katherine McNarmara, Aidan Gillen, Nathalie Emmanuel, Patricia Clarkson, Giancarlo Esposito, Barry Pepper, Ki Hong Lee, Jacob Lofland, Paul Lazenby, Dexter Darden, Jake Curran, Greg Kriek, Devin Koehler, Dylan Smith, Kazi Maubert, Scot Cooper, Parm Soor
Runtime: 142 minutes
Production Company: Gotham Group, Temple Hill Entertainment, Twentieth Century Fox
Genre: Action, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Based on the popular books that hit the shelves back in 2009, The Maze Runner: The Death Cure is the final installment of the film adaptations in the series. I remember being so excited about the first film, enjoying it, but being let down with the ending. But then nearly loving every part of the 2nd chapter "The Scorch Trials." So, going into The Death Cure, I made sure to keep my expectations in check. With all three films being directed by Wes Ball, I’m fairly impressed by what he was able to accomplish. Other than this series, the only other films he’s directed were a few short films a couple of years before, so, he has all of my respect now as a Hollywood director. And while I can’t compare how accurate these films are in relation to the books, I will say that the films are a true adventure that I’m confident any movie fan could get behind.
Hands down the best part of not only the three films but The Death Cure as a whole is a production quality. All films and sorts of entertainment are forms of escapism, but the movie does feel like a different place to escape to. From every shot, it feels real in the dystopian future the film sets up. The cinematography is simply flooring. The desert scenes, the beaches, city landscapes whether night or day, all feel beautiful in a fantasy world that you've never seen before. Even with the plot of the film leaning on the idea that the human race could go extinct, it's still remarkable imagery to look at during the two-hour-plus runtime.
That runtime doesn't drag a second either. Once the film starts, it doesn't stop and keeps going, and at times even speeds up. And all of the action is top notch too. There are a number or chase scenes on foot, and in cars that you wouldn't be able to predict the outcome. There're flying vehicles, an all-out war, and even some hand to hand combat which can get you fired up. It's everything that you would want in a finale, and I'll just say I was satisfied.
Even the acting is great by the lead characters Thomas (Dylan O’Brien), and Newt (Thomas Brodie-Sangster). It was a bit misplaced given the current situation, but still compelling enough to sympathize with their characters. After a while, things start to settle with the plot unraveling, that’s not as great as the story started off. First, there are too many unnecessary sacrifices towards the end of the film that are excessively dramatic. The excessive running through hallways and corridors with Thomas and Newt dodging every bullet that was shot at them was a bit over the top as well. And the 2nd half of the battle towards the end did get a little ridiculous, but it wasn't enough to tear my enjoyment down, fortunately.
Though, after it's all said and done, I had a good time with the film. Other franchises like Divergent didn't come close to the quality of The Maze Runner, and I brought that up because some like to compare the two. They're not even close. The Maze Runner might not be the best thing since sliced bread, but it is worth a viewing whether in the theater, or a binge watch over the weekend with friends and family. While I can't say I would necessarily buy the film to add to my collection, I will say that I recommend it, with its superb conclusion, and wouldn't mind watching it all again.