Maze Runner: The Death Cure

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Note: For The Death Cure 3D movie times, please check the 3D profile.

Thomas and the remaining Gladers square off against the WCKD organisation for the last time in the third and final installment of the Maze Runner series.

To save their friends, Thomas and his group of escaped Gladers must break into the legendary Last City, a WCKD-controlled labyrinth that may turn out to be the deadliest maze of all. Anyone who makes it out alive will get answers to the questions the Gladers have been asking since they first arrived in the maze.

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Trailers

Directed by

  • Wes Ball('The Maze Runner', 'Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials')

Written by

  • T.S. Nowlin
  • (based on the novel of the same name by James Dashner)

Action, Science Fiction, Thriller

142mins

Rating: M Violence

USA

Like most YA properties, the conclusion to the Maze Runner series has traveled far from simple origins that teased mystery and mythology, expanding upon them in the wake of publishing, then cinematic, success. In the case of The Death Cure, this film see the series move from a basic proposition - arriving in a grassy glade, and trying to escape through a maze - to a mid-desert train heist cold open that plays like a less over-the-top Fast Five. Along the way, the second instalment sketched out a post-apocalyptic world, its survivors descending into Mad Max-level existences, while well-resourced, morally misguided, organisation WCKD still seeks a cure for (or maybe just control over) what remains of humanity.

I’ll stop listing what’s been lifted from elsewhere here (no, I won’t actually - the ending steals from both Aliens and The Amazing Spider-Man 2), and instead compliment director Wes Ball on two separate points. First, he’s likely in a class of one, having just three feature films to his name - which happen to be the entirety of the Maze Runner series. Sir, until you make another film, you are the answer to a movie trivia question (hat tip to Liam Maguren for this).

More relevant to events on screen, was a peek at the content of the book Ball’s final chapter is based on. In a welcome development he has jettisoned unwieldy elements like telepathy and body-control chips in favour of a rather simple infiltration and extraction plot.

Dylan O’Brien’s Thomas leads his fellow teen action heroes into the last safe city in North America, where WCKD continue their human experimentation. While he, and other survivors, could have run away to safety early in the film, that would also have meant no stand-off with bad bosses Patricia Clarkson and Aiden Gilllan (who still can’t maintain a consistent accent throughout a film, scene, or sometimes a sentence). Plus, there’s also one time love interest-turned-betrayer Kaya Scodelario to factor into proceedings. These relationships are tied up in functional fashion that should satisfy franchise fans, if not doing much more, while the urban combat that erupts in the third act has some grittiness to it, showing how far things have come from the start of the series.

Variety (USA)

press

The most successful entry in the franchise by far. It may be too late to turn the cultural tide on the genre, but it comes as a relief to see at least one series manage to stick the landing.

New York Magazine / Vulture

press

This is the sort of action film where the bad guys often hold their fire for no discernible reason, and are terrible at dodging things, but if one suspends one's disbelief long enough, they're rewarded with a rollicking, highly competent popcorn movie.

IGN

press

Gets stuck with all the loose ends from the other, better Maze Runner movies, and spends too much time wrapping them up and not enough time kicking butt. But the butts that do get kicked get kicked, but hard.

Empire (UK)

press

This is one teen dystopia that sustained its quality across the trilogy. It may not set the world alight — ironically, given the solar flare that started its story’s disaster — but it 
will get the blood pumping.

Stuff.co.nz (Graeme Tuckett)

press

The Death Cure is probably about as well-done as it was ever going to be allowed to be.

Sydney Morning Herald

press

They are right: death is the only cure for what ails this film.

Total Film (UK)

press

Unfortunately this YA franchise has become less interesting and more formulaic with each instalment as it’s opened out from its contained, high-concept beginnings.