Maze Runner: The Death Cure
"Fans of the dystopian franchise may find a satisfying conclusion to the YA trilogy among the rubble but boy, the actual acting is very poor. O’Brien as determined rebel leader Thomas is as wooden as ever and Kaya Scodelario, as turncoat rebel Teresa, nearly overdoes him in that regard ... I’ve never wanted a eugenical, post-apocalyptic totalitarian regime to crush a brigade of teen rebels so much in my life"— RTÉ, Ireland
"Maze Runner: The Death Cure is for diehard Maze Runner fans only. Between the extended wait, the extended length, and the characters without character, it's unlikely anybody else will have the constitution required to get the end of this maze."— CinemaBlend
Maze Runner: The Death Cure (titled simply onscreen as The Death Cure) is a 2018 American dystopian science fiction film directed by Wes Ball and written by T.S. Nowlin, based on the 2011 novel The Death Cure written by James Dashner. It is the sequel to the 2015 film Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials and the third and final installment in the Maze Runner film series. The film stars Dylan O'Brien, Kaya Scodelario, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Dexter Darden, Nathalie Emmanuel, Giancarlo Esposito, Aidan Gillen, Walton Goggins, Ki Hong Lee, Jacob Lofland, Katherine McNamara, Barry Pepper, Will Poulter, Rosa Salazar, and Patricia Clarkson.
Maze Runner: The Death Cure was originally set to be released on February 17, 2017, in the United States by 20th Century Fox, but the studio rescheduled the film's release for January 26, 2018, allowing time for O'Brien to recover from injuries he sustained during filming. The film received mixed reviews from critics with praise for the cast performances, action sequences and visual effects but criticism for the storyline and character development. The film grossed over $288 million worldwide.
Thomas and his Glader friends commence a train heist to find their friend, Minho. When they find out that Minho is in fact being held hostage for Trials inside of the legendary Last City (WCKD’s base of operations), they find help from an unexpected ally and successfully break into the city. While war brews between a zombie army and WCKD’s security forces, they must find their friends and find a cure for the Flare… if they can!.
- First of all the movie, like it's predecessor, is unfaithful to the books:
- Minho was never captured in the end of the Scorch Trials book, meaning that the plotline where Thomas and his friends try to rescue him never exists in the books. This also means that events related to this never happened such as the opening train heist.
- The Last City is never mentioned nor does it appear in the books.
- WICKED is shown here to have a tower in the city, but in the books, they have a complex in the mountains.
- Thomas beats Gally for Chuck's death two movies after Chuck died in the first movie. In the books, he beats him up immediately after said death.
- Speaking of which, Gally was stabbed by Minho in the end of the first movie, but he reappears in this one with no logical explanation other than saying that some guys patched him up.
- WCKD's base (along with one quarter of the city) are taken out by Lawrence's Crank army, but in the books, WCKD fell after the Right Arm attacked them.
- There are some unresolved plot holes such as who Newt contracted the Flare from (it's likely that he caught in the previous movie, but even then he would've shown signs) and how WCKD got Minho off the train while the Right Arm was still continuing the heist.
- Some of the cast pull off bad performances. In particular, Kaya Scodelario pulls off an even worse performance as Teresa Agnes. However, like in the book, Teresa manages to redeem herself.
- Several character fates are changed:
- Newt does become a Crank at the end, but instead of getting an emotional Thomas to shoot him with a handgun, he kills himself with a knife. This makes his death far less emotional.
- Instead of getting crushed to death by falling rubble, Teresa falls to her death when WICKED Tower collapses due to Cranks firing nukes at it.
- Janson is mauled to death by Cranks instead of being strangled to death by Thomas.
- Lawrence lives in the books, but in the movies, he sacrifices himself to blow open the city's reinforced doors.
- Most of the action taking place in the city is overblown.
- The movie's runtime is nearly two-and-a-half hours long with barely any breaks in the action sequences, making it about as long as Mission: Impossible - Fallout which had a few more breaks in between the action and the lack of breaks was handled nicely in Mad Max: Fury Road. Thankfully, Fury Road and Fallout ended up being much better movies.
- Some characters don't get any development. This particularly goes for Lawrence, but it's excusable since he wasn't a major character in the books either.
- The movie cuts out major moments from the book, due to most of the action occurring in the city at nighttime. Some clips include:
- The escape from the WCKD complex. The scene was instead used for The Scorch Trials, despite the event first occurring in the third book.
- Newt doesn't get sent to the Crank Palace, meaning that the events of the Crank Palace novella never occurred in the movies. Furthermore, the Red Shirt Flare-testing guys also don't appear.
- In the second movie, Thomas declares that he will kill Ava Paige and almost follows through with it, even though we know that Thomas is not that kind of person.
- Laughable dialogue:
- "Tommy... kill me!"
- "Is this real?"
- "It stops when we find a cure."
- Weak direction by Wes Ball.
- Most of the cast such as Dylan O'Brien, Rosa Salazar, Ki Hong Lee and Thomas Brodie-Sangster still do good performances.
- The visual effects are awesome to look at.
- The action sequences are also pretty fun, despite being overblown.
- John Paesano's musical score is still good, maybe even better than its predecessors.
- Some events from the books are kept in the movie:
- Newt, Teresa and Janson all die despite their deaths occurring differently. It's presumed Ava dies in the books as well, but she dies in the movies when Janson shoots her.
- Newt becomes a Crank in the final act.
- The Safe Haven appears.
- The Maze and the Grievers reappear, although in a test simulation.
- Gally reappears but in a more major role.
- WICKED intends to continue experiments in their search to find a cure for the Flare by using other Immune kids.
- An event that is changed for good effect is that WCKD finds a cure for the Flare in the movies but not in the books.
- The set design is also really awesome and cool.
- Several critics stated that movie may offer better closure to people who have read the books as well.
- Decent cinematography.
On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 43% based on 171 reviews, and an average rating of 5.1/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "Maze Runner: The Death Cure may offer closure to fans of the franchise, but for anyone who hasn't already been hooked, this bloated final installment is best left unseen." On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 51 out of 100, based on 37 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B+" on an A+ to F scale.