Maze Runner: The Death Cure (2018): The Continuation of Teen Angst, Starring Dylan O’Brien- PART 3, To Be Rebooted Once Hollywood Runs Out of Young Adult Dystopian Books To Base Movies On, Still Better Than Twilight
Before we begin my review for “Maze Runner: The Death Cure,” I wanted to give a shoutout to someone I know. This person I’m talking about just created an account here on WordPress. She’s a good companion of mine, who goes by the name of Millie. This companion just initiated an all new blog by the name of “Movie Reviews and More!”. The overall intention of “Movie Reviews and More” is to provide movie reviews, rumors related to the entertainment industry, and just talk about movies regardless of whether or not they’ve been released. Millie began her blogging journey days prior to the publication of this post you’re reading as of this moment. If you could do her a favor by checking out her blog and following her, that would be much appreciated. Now that we have that out of the way, let’s start my review!
MOVIE REVIEWS AND MORE!: https://moviereviewsandmore780585661.wordpress.com/
“Maze Runner: The Death Cure” is directed by Wes Ball, the director of the previous two “Maze Runner” movies, and stars Dylan O’Brien (American Assassin, Teen Wolf), Ki Hong Lee (The Nine Lives of Chloe King, Wish Upon), Kaya Scodelario (Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, The Truth About Emanuel), Thomas Brodie-Sangster (Love Actually, Nanny McPhee), Dexter Darden (Geography Club, Joyful Noise), Giancarlo Esposito (Breaking Bad, Once Upon a Time), and Rosa Salazar (Insurgent, Parenthood). This film is being advertised as the final “Maze Runner” installment, and in this one, Thomas goes on a mission to find a cure for a disease that’s spreading all over civilization.
It hasn’t been until recently that I watched the prior two “Maze Runner” installments. After watching both from beginning to end, I have to say I enjoyed the first one, but the second one felt like Melatonin in the form of moving images, which is another way of saying the second movie made me almost fall asleep at times. Going into the third film, I didn’t have truly high expectations. The movie had a low score on Rotten Tomatoes, not to mention a January release date. Let’s face it. Movies+January=Begging for mercy. It’s simple math! It’s still January as I’m writing this and I’ll have you know that this is the first 2018 release I’m focusing on. There’s a saying known as “worst for first,” although I can tell you right now that’s not true because last year I saw “The Emoji Movie” and that was the twentieth movie I’ve seen released that year. Depending on what happens in 2018, I don’t think that’s going to be the case here either, because “Maze Runner: The Death Cure” surprised me in terms of its positivity. As I walked into the theater to watch this movie, not to mention, prior to even going there, I had one thought to myself. I thought, “Please be better than the second movie!” Not only did I get a film that’s better than the second movie, to me it has around the same praise I have for the first movie. If you read my review for the first movie, you’d already know that I’m not saying this movie’s perfect. We’ll get to that, but let’s go on by stating some positives.
This movie was directed by Wes Ball, and as mentioned, he directed both the first and second installments to this series. The fact that he’s come back to direct this third movie is just unbelievable, and I mean that in a good way. Although then again you have Michael Bay coming back to direct every single “Transformers” film and look how those have turned out. I say this is positively unbelievable because you have several films out now based on young adult adaptations. These young adult adaptations have come from books that have gotten multiple installments. The “Maze Runner” franchise is one example of that. Let’s compare this statistic with other similar films. As for “Twilight,” every single movie in the franchise has a different director making the picture. Well, that is if “Breaking Dawn” wasn’t split into two parts so in that case, the same guy directed both of those movies. “The Hunger Games” started off with direction from Gary Ross, and every film after that was directed by Francis Lawrence. “Divergent” was directed by Neil Burger, but that didn’t last because the next two films in the franchise were to be directed by Robert Schwentke. “Fifty Shades of Grey,” YES, THIS COUNTS, because it’s based on “Twilight” fanfiction, even though its target demographic is middle-aged women, was directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson. Then once that movie came out, it had two more scheduled to be released. “Fifty Shades Darker,” the sequel to “Fifty Shades of Grey,” was directed by James Foley, who also directed “Fifty Shades Freed,” which will, unfortunately, be out soon. It just goes to show that with these young adult adaptations and the sole young adult adaptation wannabe, nobody can commit to these movies. With the existence of “Maze Runner” and Wes Ball, we have an exception on our hands. Not only did he direct these movies just for the sake of having a job, he actually tried on all three. He failed on the second one despite looking nice at times, but he tried on all of them. Ball now has a trilogy to look back on as an accomplishment. As for this film, Ball once again delivers by executing solid performances out of the actors along with neat location choices. According to IMDb, the movie was done in South Africa, and it fit the post-apocalyptic vibe quite well. A lot of the cinematography done by Gyula Pados, who also did the cinematography for the previous “Maze Runner” installment, was very proper and it I could easily tell what was going on. So for overall direction, this movie’s solid.
Moving onto the actors, let’s talk about Dylan O’Brien. After seeing Dylan O’Brien in this movie and hearing a little more about him, I have massive respect for him. While all of the actors here commit to their roles, I have to say that O’Brien did an exceptional job committing to the one for which he was responsible. In 2016, it was reported that O’Brien was injured on set while filming “The Death Cure,” suspending production indefinitely. Turns out the injury came from a car making contact with him. Production resumed about a year after the injury happened. The fact is, they got it done. O’Brien survived, everyone’s fine, and the movie was made. Having said that, I want to write my own movies, I might even want to direct them, and I’ve had an idea for one for some time and I’ve often thought to myself for this one I’m thinking of in particular, Dylan O’Brien would be the lead role. Now that I’ve seen O’Brien and what he’s done as far as this movie goes, I want to work with him even more. O’Brien plays the character of Thomas once again, and he’s definitely got some charisma here, much like some other characters.
Another notably fine character is Newt, played by Thomas Brodie-Sangster. I thought Brodie-Sangster’s performance was solid and the way his character was written, along with Dylan O’Brien’s, brought out some great chemistry between the two. I’d probably have to watch the other two movies again, but I don’t think I felt as much of a connection to him as I did here. Maybe it’s because this is the last installment, maybe it’s because I watched this in a theater, not to mention an IMAX theater, I don’t know, but the point is, I like Newt here.
Another character worth talking about is Kaya Scodelario’s character of Teresa. In this movie, we first see her on the side of WCKD, which if can’t tell by what that acronym sounds like, is this franchise’s evil organization. I’m not gonna go into supreme detail about Teresa, but just about every single action from this character was something I was able to believe.
This movie, to me, was full of surprises, and I think I made that somewhat clear. Another surprise that caught my attention was that I actually cared about Rosa Salazar’s character of Brenda. She was introduced in “The Scorch Trials” as a character I didn’t really have much of a connection towards and since the movie itself was a near-snoozefest, that pretty much explains my thoughts towards her character. Brenda actually had a standout scene to me at one point during this movie. She’s driving a bus, and she has to escape, and the way she attempts to escape is pretty awesome. Actually, you know what, I take that back. It was aMAZEing.
As mentioned, this movie isn’t flawless, and as a movie reviewing moron, I gotta be fair here. Going into this film, I will have you know that I was actually at a restaurant beforehand having breakfast. My sister, who wasn’t going to see the movie, was receiving explanation from my father as to what the movie we were going to see was like. He described it as a combination of “The Hunger Games” and “Resident Evil,” at least that’s what my mind suggests. As for that second insertion, I’m not talking about the video games, he’s never played those. He’s talking about the movie adaptations. I haven’t seen one of those films, but I heard they’re abysmal, but having heard various things about them, I think I can make that connection now. The “Resident Evil” movies have a number of moments where you basically have to suspend your disbelief like crazy. This movie has that too, you just wonder how some of the stuff in this film actually happens. It’s not “Batman & Robin” bad, but it’s still a thing that occurs. One more issue I had was the first part of the film. I honestly thought it was a tad draggy but it quickly recovered as the movie went on.
If this movie, at least in my book, could trim up those issues, it might just be the best “Maze Runner” movie yet. Not only that, but it might make this the most solid based on dystopian young adult adaptation movie series I’ve seen to date. In my rankings, it’s tied with “Divergent,” but “The Maze Runner” is actually better because it could actually finish its own story. Based on what I’m saying about “The Scorch Trials,” that’s not really saying all that much. Others would disagree with me, and I’m not lying. Germain Lussier from io9 Reviews made an article titled “The Death Cure Doesn’t Give The Maze Runner the Ending It Deserves.” Not only that, but David Sims from The Atlantic calls this movie a “grim, half-hearted farewell.” I never read the “Maze Runner” books, so maybe my opinion is little different than others. Although Sims never says whether or not he’s read the books so that fact stands here. Nevertheless, maybe I’d like this movie a little less if I have actually read the books, but only time will tell. I might not ever read the books. This isn’t my first time saying this, but movies are more fun! By the way, sorry, books.
In the end, I was rather satisfied with “Maze Runner: The Death Cure.” Wes Ball once again proves to be an effective director who I personally think should get more work in the realm of action movies. Dylan O’Brien nails yet another performance as the lead character of Thomas. I thought a lot of the characters were great. The sound editing was a joy. The set pieces were amazing as well. Also, one of the best parts about all of this, we have a solid January movie! Whether or not this third installment is better than the second one requires no contest. As for being better than the first one, that’s a hard judgment to make, it could be slightly better, slightly worse, or equal. With that being said, I’m going to give “Maze Runner: The Death Cure” a 7/10. One last thing I’m wondering about this movie is this. Why do so many franchises like this have a fetish for needles? Just put this side by side with “The Hunger Games,” “The Giver,” and “Divergent” to see what I mean! Oh yeah, and even more hilarious, “The Hunger Games” has a character called Nessie Needle! Thanks for reading this review, be sure to check out my friend’s blog, and also be sure to check out my past “Maze Runner” reviews. I have reviews for “The Maze Runner” and “Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials,” so take a look at those if you’re interested. Also, as for upcoming content, I’m not sure what I’ll see next. Maybe “The Commuter” or “12 Strong” will be my next review. We’ll find out when time allows it. Stay tuned for more great content! I want to know, did you see “Maze Runner: The Death Cure?” What are your thoughts? What is your favorite “Maze Runner” installment in the movie trilogy? What is your favorite “Maze Runner” book? How would you rank either saga? Do you think either the books or movies are better? Let me know down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!
“THE MAZE RUNNER” REVIEW: https://scenebefore.wordpress.com/2018/01/18/the-maze-runner-2014-the-continuation-of-teen-angst-starring-dylan-obrien/
“MAZE RUNNER: THE SCORCH TRIALS” REVIEW: https://scenebefore.wordpress.com/2018/01/25/maze-runner-the-scorch-trials-the-continuation-of-teen-angst-starring-dylan-obrien-part-2-to-be-concluded-in-almost-2-5-years-also-this-is-wckd-boring/