Maze Runner: The Death Cure
by George Wolf
As if the YA heroes in The Maze Runner films haven’t been through enough, here come the zombies!
OK, they’re really zombie-like, after catching the “Flare Virus” that is quickly sweeping the dystopian future world of the trilogy’s finale, The Death Cure. But some young adults seem immune, and when Minho (Ki Hong Lee) is among those rounded up for research purposes, Thomas (Dylan O’Brien) and the rest of his maze-running friends hatch a rescue plan.
Director Wes Ball is back to finish what he started with the first two MR films, and he flashes a well-developed eye for the composition of an effective action sequence. From the train-robbing prologue through the exploding finale in the “Last City,” the set pieces from Ball (a former visual effects supervisor) hold up. It’s what fills the time between the action, and how long it takes to reach that finale, that makes The Death Cure such a slog.
The themes are familiar and borrowed from any number of similar films, but it feels like there is a taut and tense action thriller buried somewhere beneath the two hour and twenty minute bloat.
While Will Pouter’s return gives the YA ensemble an impressive talent boost, Patricia Clarkson, playing little more than Standing Around Kate Winslet from the Insurgent series, is unnecessarily wasted. The connective drama here lacks the substance for all the mining it’s given, and the emotional depth the film is trying so hard to reach never materializes.