By Rayiah Ross
*Slight spoilers of the first two movies
Since the release of the movie adaptation of The Hunger Games back in 2012, the last few years have been a dystopian era for YA film adaptations. More recently was the release of the third installment and final entry in Fox’s adaptation of James Dashner’s books, The Maze Runner; The Death Cure. According to the Variety, The Death Cure is one of the most successful entry in the franchise by far.
Starring Dylan O’Brien as the main character, Thomas, the movie picks up almost exactly where The Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials picks up. Thomas is still hard at work fighting an evil, government agency known as WCKD, which imprisoned him and his friends in a monster-filled maze called “The Glade” in the first film, then pursued them across a harsh desert wasteland in the second. They did this as part of a needlessly complicated strategy to fight a massive global pandemic known as “The Flare,” which turns the infected into mindless zombie-like creatures called cranks. The kids imprisoned in the maze are immune to the Flare virus’ effects, and WCKD’s head pair of sinister scientists subject them to various procedures to try to extract a cure from their blood.
Director Ball wastes zero time flexing his action chops, kicking off the film with a solidly executed train robbery sequence. The robbers in question are Thomas and his trusty Glader buddies Newt (Thomas Brodie-Sangster) and Frypan (Dexter Darden), as well sardonic fighters Brenda (Rosa Salazar) and Jorge (Giancarlo Esposito). Their target is a train full of young prisoners headed to a WCKD facility, among them the group’s captured comrade Minho (Ki Hong Lee) because he’s been taken to WCKD headquarters in this wasteland’s mythical last bastion of civilization, the appropriately named Last City. The gang all pledge to rescue their friend or die trying.
Ball does a great job pulling off impressive fight scenes and last minute escapes. The Maze Runner was Ball’s first film, and his ability to craft such amazing setpieces has steadily improved throughout the trilogy. He truly captures the question, “What lengths will humans go in order to survive?”
The Death Cure provides a satisfying conclusion to the film franchise and book series. The film is now playing in theaters nationwide; I recommend you get up out of your seat and go see it.