The penultimate installment to Wes Ball’s teenage dystopian franchise, Maze Runner: The Death Cure, hit theaters late last week. Returning from serious injuries sustained on-set, Dylan O’Brien along with Ki Hong-Li and Thomas Brody-Sangster give their all in their last performances as main characters Thomas, Minho, and Newt, respectively.
Picking up almost immediately after the events of “The Scorch Trials,” Thomas (O’Brien) and Newt (Sangster) stage a flash train heist rescue, not unlike those you’d see in an old western film, only this time they’re rescuing their friend Minho. Having been captured by the sinister WIKD organization during the ending of the previous film, their rescue is in vain when they pick up the wrong train car and Minho is transported back to WIKD headquarters.
Regrouping with the “Right Arm” resistance group who is planning on sailing a ship to a deserted island offshore, they hatch a new grand plan to infiltrate WIKD HQ. Unbeknownst to Thomas, his jilted love interest Teresa (Scodelario) is also working with WIKD. Having betrayed them to the organization in the previous movie, she is also woefully unaware of his continued existence. Executing their master rescue plan filled with obstacles such as disease-ridden, zombie-like “Cranks,” and fringe resistance groups, they make their way into WIKD city.
WIKD security officer Janson (Gillen) creates problems for the group as they make their way to Minho. Bent on revenge after Thomas slighted him one too many times in “The Scorch Trials,” he almost kills Thomas before Teresa saves his life. Regretting the part she played in everything, she resolves to get him back to the group with the cure to the Flare virus made from his own blood. Sacrificing herself in the film’s last minutes so he could board the rescue helicopter. Meanwhile, fringe groups attack the city and decimate it with scenes that look straight out of a nuclear war zone kind of like the final battle between Superman and Zod from Man of Steel.
The Death Cure ends with the rescue of Minho and the deaths of Teresa and Newt, the latter succumbed to the Flare virus. Contrary to the events of the book, a lot of the plot was different in the film. Many events were rewritten for the theatrical version or omitted completely. The ending was especially contrasting to the book. While many groups did lay siege to the city, a major brain surgery scene was completely omitted from the film and a few interactions between Thomas and Janson were changed. Aiden Gillen portrayed him much more ruthlessly than his book counterpart.
While there was a fair share of inconsistencies and plot holes, I felt it was a fitting conclusion to the trilogy. Maze Runner might not have been as popular and audience captivating as Hunger Games or Mad Max, it did its best to do its own thing.