January 26, 2018

R: January 26th, 2018 | R: 142 minutes | R: PG-13

I'd like to shoot you straight, reader; before this latest installment, I'd never seen these kids running mazes. The last time I saw Thomas Brodie-Sangster, he was in love with an American girl in Love, Actually.

And that fella Barry Pepper was running around Vietnam with Mel Gibson in We Were Soldiers last I remember seeing him on the big screen.
I was wary of this movie at first because it was explained to me as another Divergent or Hunger Games.
Reader, the moment I watched Barry Pepper leap from a car that was tethered to a moving train, botch the landing, and pull himself onto the train with what should have been -- but were not -- shattered ankles, I was all in.

I see movies for suspension of disbelief, and I have never doubted anything more than the fact that the bones in his feet were in tact after that jump.
This review is going to be a bit of a mess because in lieu of watching the first two movies and educating myself, I'm going at this the same way I went for Harry Potter; only seeing the last film of the franchise and reviewing it as such.

Death Cure opens on what I presume are beloved characters that we're glad to see again, Brenda and Jorge (Rosa Salazar and Giancarlo Esposito, respectively) awaiting instruction via walkie from our hero, Thomas (Dylan O'Brien) and their other comrade, Frypan (Dexter Darden). I like to think Frypan is the name on his birth certificate.
Thomas and Vince (Pepper) are fixin' to hijack a train full of children in chains, none of whom are named Alice that I know of.
One of them, however, is Minho (Ki Hong Lee). From what I gather, Minho is very special to Thomas. I don't believe a single one of my friends would lift a train car into the sky using an elaborate plan to save me were I in need.
Not. One.

Anyway, popping up out of the middle of a field, Newt (Thomas Brodie-Sangster) runs to aid the mission and the group successfully pulls it off without a hitch. See, they blew up the hitch. The hitch was holding together the train and they used an explosive to destroy it, hence, no hitch.
If you are still reading, I applaud your efforts.
The group, reunited, arrive back at base camp only to find that Minho isn't among the kids rescued. After there is talk of a city -- when all of the remaining cities had supposedly been demolished -- Thomas decides that's where Minho is and that he's gonna go and collect him.

The only problem is that there is a wall around the city. A WALL. To keep out undesirables. I see what you did there, movie, and I thank you for it.
On the other side of that wall? Teresa (Kaya Scodelario). She was once part of the squad but now holds the title of MAJOR TRAITOR. While her heart is in the right place -- wanting to cure the disease plaguing the planet -- she still did wrong by the rest of her crew.
Teresa's... boss?... Ava (Patricia Clarkson) and her unctuous counterpart, Janson (Aidan Gillen) are playing for the same team but their motivations are wildly differing. Before the end, Janson and his Great Clips haircut might just have the last word.

Will the kids find the cure for the pandemic wiping clean every remaining trace of life before it's too late? Will Thomas and Teresa reconcile? Will Aidan Gillen ever not look like one of the models in the catalogs they give you at Supercuts while you wait?
In all honesty, I had the same experience with this movie that I did with the final Harry Potter. I went in with little knowledge of the preceding films. I had the gist. Fortunately, like Harry Potter, Maze Runner gives the audience a bit of gentle hand-holding for the viewer who is less cultured and refined.

A bit long, Death Cure keeps a fine pace, only slowing down to explain some crucial plot points. It's a fun one that I didn't mind as much as I thought I might and speaks on topical matters far more than I'd anticipated.
Will I watch the first two? Not likely. Do I recommend this one? Yes! Do I think it's hilarious that on the iMDB page, Director Wes Ball's four "Known For" movies are the three Maze Runners and the romantic dramedy Beginners? Dear, God, yes.
We're in a dead zone for movies at the moment and will be until Black Panther, but this is a good one to catch for a bit of action, some laughs, and that delightful boy from Love, Actually all growed up.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Katie Katie (Contributor) is a cinephile and Chicago native who has been reviewing film for nearly a decade. Her heroes include Roger Ebert and Jay Sherman -- it stinks!
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I LOVE these movies! The books are excellent, the movies are great, Dylan O'Brien is pure fire! I appreciate the diversity, something I hope to see more of in films! I like that they follow the books enough but also change it to keep you in suspense!

The death cure is the last installment (crying) in the Maze Runner Trilogy, based off books of the same name. We follow Thomas (Dylan O’Brien) as he enters Wicked headquarters on a mission to save Minho (Ki Hong Lee) from their evil clutches! Teresa (Kaya Scodelario) has been working for Wicked trying to develop a serum that can reverse the virus that is taking over the world and turning people into Cranks (zombie type people).

I think we can all agree the character of Teresa is the absolute worst - she betrays everyone and for “the greater good” is conducting horrible experiments on her friend! but it provides an interesting twist and adds a lot to the complicated relationship her and Thomas have.

If you are like me and enjoyed the first two films, you’ll like this one too. It does drag quite a bit at the end but overall a nice ending with plenty of closure.

Rating: 3 out of 5

AshleyK Ashley K. (Contributor) is a frequent traveler currently living in San Diego. She's a super nerd who enjoys all kinds of movies and doesn't always think the book was better.
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Maze Runner: Death Cure is the third installment of the Maze Runner trilogy of films adapted from the book series of the same title. After the second one drug the series down diverging far from the book, can the third bring it back up and end it on a good note?

I must start of with I love this series and have read the books so I was bummed out after watching the second one. I was pleasantly surprised however with Death Cure because although it was still different from the books, it put in more effort to tie in certain things that happened...just in a different way of getting there.

Seeing the characters and their chemistry back together on the big screen. Also this movie brought back the fun and edge of your seat excitement from the first movie and did not over do it with the zombie-like infected “Cranks” (there are still there though!). Even though there were way more explosions, chases and overall entertainment the movie did drag on with a runtime of 2 hours and 23 minutes.

That being said it does answer any left over questions you may have from the first and second movies. I would not recommend jumping into this one as your first movie for that reason because you will probably be confused as well as overwhelmed with the information you get to complete the story.

In order I would say the original Maze Runner is still my favorite out of the movies but this one is a close runner up. I think the director realized the faults from the second one and patched it up and then some with Death Cure.

Did you like the Maze Runner series? Have you read the books too? Let us know!

Rating: 3 out of 5

Ashley Ashley (Senior Contributor) is an Orlando native who loves watching movies. Her favorite genres include comedies, thrillers and sci-fi.
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