Maze Runner: The Death Cure (2018): Film Review
Throughout recent years in cinema, we have seen an influx of famous young-adult novels adapted into extensive trilogies, often with two part endings. It was almost as if the Twilight series started a slur of these films, inspiring series of films like The Hunger Games and the much less successful Divergent debacle. One of the more famous YA film series has been The Maze Runner series, with three movies, each directed by Wes Ball. The first two films were consistently abysmal, with awful plots, over-the-top action scenes, and a constant slew of boring and long exposition. It was expected that the third installment, The Death Cure (the weakest book of the three, by the way), was going to be just as bad as the first two were. But, The Death Cure learns from its predecessors mistakes (at least some of them), and creates a film that is very entertaining, action-packed, and actually good. That is, until the very last action sequence, where the film resorts back to its old ways. The Death Cure has learned a lot from the series' constant mistakes, and tries to fix them, but can't fix enough mistakes to elevate into a good movie. Through the first half of the 142 minute film, the mistakes are at a minimum. The film starts with an action scene that is completely enthralling, and keeps the action at max level as the film surges on towards its finale. The biggest problem is that, the film expects us to remember every single character, and every single event of the last film, knowing that most of the audience hasn't seen the second film since it first released in 2015. In my case, I tried to forget everything about that movie, so presenting me with all these characters, and expecting me to know their motivations and actions, is just questionable. It was like I was being punished for not remembering events that happened over two years ago, because the film didn't even attempt to explain who the characters actually were, which became a huge debacle and ball of confusion as the film went on. I found myself straying from the events on the scene to try and figure out the events of the second film constantly, which is a problem. But besides that confusion, the film was getting everything right. That is, until the mess of an ending. Throughout the whole first half of The Death Cure, the plot line was simple; to break into WCKD's city and break out Thomas' friend Minho from captivity. All the events and actions of the first half have to do with this plot, and the one singular plot is one of the main reasons the film was working so well. But, at some point in the second act of the film (I don't know exactly where), everything goes absolutely haywire. An influx of plots are introduced into the film, and suddenly, the film becomes riddled with subplots, and gets insanely hard to follow. It was like Wes Ball forgot about everything that made the first half of the movie good, and decided to resort back to the mistakes that made the first movie bad. It gets to the point where you stop caring about the characters, and start caring about when the movie is going to end. Because of all these plots, the final action scene becomes much less intense, and much more of a snoozefest. But, after all this madness, the film just snaps back into reality, and is able to deliver a sad, yet heartwarming ending, and manage to deliver the perfect ending to a doomed series. Besides the fact that the film looses all control over itself in the final action scene, The Death Cure gets a lot of things right, and delivers the best film in The Maze Runner series, by far.