Wes Ball’s third Maze Runner film “Maze Runner: The Death Cure” picks up where its predecessor left us in 2015 with Thomas (Dylan O’Brien) leading the surviving Gladers and members of the Right Arm resistance on a quest to free their friend Minho (Ki Hong Lee) from the wicked organization WCKD.
The reason why we’ve had to wait so long for this third instalment of the series is that O’Brien was injured in 2016 while filming a scene for it. His injuries included concussion, facial fracture, and lacerations and were quite serious, so he needed time to recover.
Is the film worth the wait then? Well, as its predecessor it has very little to do with the book it is based on (the American author James Dashner’s young adult dystopian sci-fi novels) and it is very action-packed. To free Minho our heroes must enter the “Last City” where WCKD has its headquarters and on their way, they have to fight Cranks, humans infected with the zombifying virus the Flare. They get unexpected help from a former enemy as well as the rebellion leader Lawrence (Walton Goggins) and in the chaos of rebels storming the city, Thomas and his friends try to save Minho and the other immune children who are used as guinea pigs in WCKD’s labs.
Although action-packed, the film is way too long, 141 minutes, and it could easily have ended half an hour earlier. The end itself is… pointless, I think is the right word. It is very unfulfilling, when there has been no reason to why your heroes had to go through all the struggle and pain and that is the case with the entire Maze Runner series, if you really think about it. Besides, the people who die in the book also die in the film, so consider yourself warned!
As for the actors, Dylan O’Brien as Thomas suffers from the hero problem: he just has to look good and be heroic and that is not enough to make a character interesting. The one I noticed the most was once again the British actor Thomas Brodie-Sangster as Thomas’ sidekick Newt, whereas my daughter (yes, I brought her along again, although she is now nineteen and almost too old for this kind of YA-films!) was fond of the Korean-American actor Ki Hong Lee as the missing Minho. Worth mentioning is also Walton Goggins, but that’s mainly because his character Lawrence looks like Aerosmith singer Steven Tyler without a nose! All in all, I’ll give “Maze Runner: The Death Cure” three stars out of five: ***