Maze Runner: Death Cure
The action picks up not long after we left off, with Thomas (Dylan O’Brien), the Right Arm rebels, and the gladers trying to free the kidnapped Minho (Ki Hong Lee) off of a WCKD train (apparently they don’t care about Aris (Jacob Lofland)). They succeed in getting the cargo off the train, but fail because they took the wrong one, although they did save a bunch of other kids. They discover the train is going to the “Last City”, a walled city that houses WCKD’s base of operations that they knew nothing about whatsoever. Back at the coastal rebel base Vince (Barry Pepper) tells Thomas that the plan is to take all the freed kids to an island where they can be safe, but Thomas doesn’t want him to go until they get Minho. Even though Thomas for some reason thinks he has to go alone, Newt (Thomas Brodie-Sangster) and Frypan opt to go with Thomas to go find him. Meanwhile, Janson (Aiden Gillen) finds he still has Minho and brings him to WCKD. There, Ava Paige (Patricia Clarkson) and Teresa (Kaya Scodelario) throw Minho in a simulation where he finds himself in the same maze and gets a fear and an adrenaline rush, as they extract his blood, hoping it’ll be the cure. Back with Thomas and the boys, they drive through a tunnel toward the city that is filled with zombies and just when the boys are about to be doomed, Jorge (Giancarlo Esposito) and Brenda (Rosa Salazar) conveniently come to the rescue. They make it through the tunnel, to the outside walls of the city which is a like a bum city of sorts of survivors. The survivors are all lined up protesting at the gate of the city, demanding to be let in. Thomas and the gang check it out to see what it’s all about, and Janson spots Thomas on the security cameras and orders them to shoot them. Meanwhile, other masked guards approach the group from the behind, and in the midst of dodging the guns, the masked men take Thomas and the gang. It’s revealed that one of the masked men is really Gally (Will Poulter), who apparently didn’t die in the first one. Gally meets with the bum city leader, Lawrence (Walter Groggins), and convinces him that they might be able to break into WCKD now because they have Thomas. Will the gang be able to break into WCKD, rescue Minho and escape to freedom? Will Teresa find a cure for the virus?
The concluding film of the Maze Runner Trilogy, is a big mess of action where things just happen. The movie feels very much like world-building on the fly, like the whole “Lost City,” which wasn’t even a day’s worth of travel away, that NOBODY knew about? It also doesn’t help that there’s very little that connects the movies together, yes they’re trying to get Minho, but aside from that object everything feels very random. Having Thomas as the protagonist is another problem, as he’s very much a blank slate in terms of personality. He tries to be a solo action star with his go it alone approach, and uncompromising in fulfilling his goal, but when it comes to the bigger issue — of finding a cure for the diseased — he has no opinion. In fact, the cure is sort of ignored by all the “good” guys. Yes, what WCKD did to them was fucked up, but apparently they don’t care about the rest of humanity that didn’t get lucky with genetics that gave them immunity? Also, I like how Teresa is given all this access at WCKD, doing experiments and meeting with the Board like she’s someone who knows anything. This is all ignoring the biggest plot hole — how the virus is transmitted isn’t explained at all, other than a throwaway line near the end mentioning that it’s airborne. The ending is also confusing, especially when Janson kills Ava, which seemed random and unmotivated. All of these complaints aside, the special effects are pretty good, especially considering the film’s reported budget. The movie is best to be viewed as an escapism with no effort made in trying to track the story, just go for the ride — if you want to spend almost two and a half hours with a movie — otherwise skip this and pretend it didn’t exist.