Maze Runner: The Death Cure — An overlong and unworthy finale to a once-promising series

Mihir Fadnavis

Feb 02, 2018 13:34:39 IST


You know things are not going well for a franchise when you’re not sure whether the new film is the third or fourth installment, and you also have little to no recollection of the previous films. The Death Cure not only marks the end of the dreary Maze Runner storyline but also the end of the Young Adult sci fi dystopia subgenre that blew up a few years ago.

For those keeping track – the story picks up immediately after the events of the previous movie. Minho (Ki Hong) is under captivity while her friends including our hero Thomas (Dylan O’Brien) have formed a master plan to rescue her. The evil WCKD empire is at full force to thwart any attempts at a rebellion, and Thomas has to not just team up with his hero buddies but also some traitors and angry insurgents for help.

 Maze Runner: The Death Cure — An overlong and unworthy finale to a once-promising series

Poster for Maze Runner: The Death Cure

The problem is — the original film was actually the best of the YA sci fi lot — so the wait time of three years from the second one to this film hurts it. Kudos to O’Brien for returning to film after an injury but when the audience interest levels have sagged even his presence doesn’t seem to work wonders. Disastrously, the filmmakers try to enliven the atmosphere by blowing things up which is the opposite of what the original film was about. The opening action sequence involving a train leads you to believe that you could possibly turn off your brain and just enjoy the fireworks but it turns out to be the best scene of the film followed by a very long and dull delay till the inevitable explosion filled conclusion.

The story does provide conclusion for many of the characters, and there is a chance the long term fans of the books and the films would find a closure of sorts with this series. But the placement of the film is just so odd, and the series did not exactly exude the quality of something like the Bourne films, so the expectation of the filmmakers for audience to actually return in droves is rather brazen. The main issue, however, is the message of the film is cliché in 2018 — a group of young ones taking down a big futuristic dystopian corporation has been done in five hundred different ways now, and the terrible final Hunger Games movie is partially to be blamed for the self destruction of this trope.

There were elements of horror and mystery in the previous installments — which set it apart from boring siblings like the Divergent films — and had director Wes Ball employed a similar small scale approach this could actually have been a worthwhile revisit to the film’s world. The zombie stuff is present but treated with a blockbuster palette — and by going with big scale action set pieces set in generic beats the film becomes an overlong and unworthy finale to something that seemed like it had potential. At this point we should just be thankful that the film wasn’t split in two climactic parts like many of its peers.

Updated Date: Feb 02, 2018 13:34:39 IST