Maze Runner: The Death Cure comes off as a teen-led Ocean’s Eleven
If the third and final entry in the Maze Runner series is searching for a cure for the death of the 2010s young adult dystopia craze, it hasn’t found it. One small step up from its dismal predecessor, this long, un-amazing race ends with lots of watchable action but drags out its running time and hits a wall with its insipid lead character.
Thomas (Dylan O’Brien), along with his rebel friends, Newt (Thomas Brodie-Sangster), Frypan (Dexter Darden), and Brenda (Rosa Salazar), is determined not to leave his fellow ‘Immune,’ Minho (Ki Hong Lee), in the hands of WCKD (either an avid texter’s Bond villain organization or a badly-named Cincinnati radio station). As the ‘Flare’ virus rages on, the group infiltrates the ‘Last City’ to rescue Minho from WCKD headquarters, where Thomas’ longtime flame, Teresa (Kaya Scodelario), is researching a cure.
Starting with a train-jacking/prisoner-breakout and building to an office tower break-in, Maze Runner: The Death Cure is really just a heist-turned-rescue flick—a late-teen Ocean’s Eleven in a desolate land plagued by zombies, dubbed ‘Cranks.’ Speaking of cranks, there’s not one but two wicked winch scenes—the big heists here involve some big hoists. But there are few sparks, with little passion behind the rebels’ cause or true heat—barely a tease of ardour between the two Ts.
The movie ends with memorializing the dead. This focus in a youth-adult-epic on mourning might be intriguing, almost novel, if two deaths weren’t like grief-porn, fixated in slo-mo and fetishized as maudlin spectacle.
The story staggers to the finish (it’s 135 minutes). Thomas remains a bland, uninspiring leader that was basically born the ‘Great Saviour,’ but he never seems like a big deal. A blank action hero, he’s the hole in this dystopia-doughnut, only lightly sprinkled (or is that SPRNKLD?) with colour and not all that fresh or flavourful.
Maze Runner: The Death Cure
Directed by Wes Ball