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Time to pull the trigger on Maze Runner franchise

By James Michie Jan 26, 2018
Thomas (Dylan O'Brien) in action with Newt ((Thomas Brodie-Sangster)

‘Maze Runner: The Death Cure’ is a decent end to a very average trilogy with Dylan O’Brien’s impressing performance as Thomas.

The series has been subject to poor reviews but high profits since the first adaptation of the successful book series was released in 2014.

This was a fast-paced film that was a lot of fun at times but it does not quite mop up the mess of the previous two.

The film opens with an action sequence on a train with our hero Thomas (Dylan O’Brien) looking for new ways to combat the tyrannical WICKED organisation. The opening scene is thrillingly fast-paced and jumps straight into the action following The Scorch Trials ending.

WICKED never come across as convincing enemies or scary ones. Other groups and creatures called Grievers have appeared throughout the series that make them seem a tad benign at times.

Some will argue that ‘The Flare’ virus, which is the apocalyptic virus of the ‘Maze Runner’ world, is the true enemy but there does not seem to be a face for the evil. The series is crying out for Voldemort or a White Witch.

Thomas and the Glader gang are searching for those with immunity to The Flare to free them from WICKED’s capture which for the first hour or so. It makes little sense to the overall plot as things seem to go wrong then right again one too many times for our protagonist. Only at the mid-way point do things start to begin to make more sense.

The action scenes throughout the film and O’Brien’s performance are by far its best quality. They are excellent from start to finish, the use of effects and fighting sequences cover up some confusing plot lines well. The use of explosions creates ‘Die Hard’ style action scenes.

‘The Death Cure’ has played to the series’ strengths much more than the previous two films. One scene with O’Brien with a gun and a life-changing decision really does rack up the tension and the emotion shown makes for its best acting scene as well. O’Brien takes center stage in a number of the films more gripping scenes and it is no coincidence that the trilogies best bits will almost always include him.

The series has included a string of well-known young actors such Kaya Scodelario (Skins, Pirate Of The Caribbean), Dylan O’Brien (Teen Wolf), Thomas Brodie (Love Actually, Game Of Thrones), and Will Poultner (We’re the Millers). But the Maze Runner trilogy has done little to showcase their acting potential and the actors will be relieved to have finally finished amid criticism of the franchise.

O’Brien’s character Thomas shares a touching moment with Brodie’s Newt and Scodelario’s Teresa. A few scenes that will certainly test the emotions of viewers and it look convincing as well which is one of the few times that can be said for the Maze Runner series. Despite its previous scripting which has taken a lot of criticism director, Wes Ball gets its very right in the last hour.

‘The Death Cure’ sets up its ending very well, a little twist that made sense and was well portrayed.

In terms of successful book to film adaptations, the ‘Maze Runner’ series has come up short. Perhaps the idea of it just does not translate well from book to film. It lacks an interesting theme that successful book adaptions like the ‘Harry Potter’ series have.

If you have stomached the first two, this film is enjoyable and fun. ‘The Death Cure’ hits UK cinemas on January 26 2018.

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