It would be much more worthwhile just to watch the first film three times over
It’s safe to say that the Maze Runner franchise is not one of infinite originality or quality. The original film as a standalone is actually quite a pulsating and intriguing watch, but from there, the series takes a turn for the worse, ending in the same fate as Hunger Games and Divergent, just becoming a semi-political teen thriller.
The Death Cure, the final instalment in the trilogy, picks up just a few months after the Scorch Trials, with the gang hunting down lost member Minho (Ki Hong Lee). Their quest leads them to The Last City, the new residence of betrayer Teresa (Kaya Scodelario). Thomas (Dylan O’Brian) must lead the team through the city unseen to find Minho before he becomes just another failed experiment.
The difficulty in summarising the plot, partially explains how much it lacks any form of coherence. There are themes and ideas the franchise clings on to, attempting to mash together a story, that simply leaves it running on fumes. The Death Cure is about as disappointing as trilogy ending films go, yet it still manages to avoid the title of “Worst In The Trilogy.”
The production was marred by Dylan O’Brien’s unfortunate injury on set, but it doesn’t seem that that has actually affected the film in any way. It lacks a punch and a driving motor, something that a stop in production wouldn’t have affected. Long before that the script and original directorial decisions stopped it from even starting out as an enthralling watch.
The original had a sense of mystery and blind optimism. A theme that rapidly disappeared across the Scorch Trials and never returned. Naturally, the story had to take its own creative license somewhat, but a return to the Maze would have given The Death Cure a sense of nostalgia and familiarity, themes it sorely lacks.
The Death Cure is a disappointing third instalment in a franchise that never matched its unique original idea. It’s poor, uninvolving and for the most part, massively underwhelming. It would be much more worthwhile just to watch the first film three times over.