I am going to be honest with you here. I tried to read The Maze Runner but I disliked it so much that I just cast it aside. In fact, I have the whole series, but after those couple of pages, I never so much as touched the books again. I have also yet to see the first film in the franchise, although I did see the Everything Wrong With video on the film by Cinema Sins. I am not sure if it counts, but hey. Anyway, I did see the second film in theatres. While there were moments I liked, it was not a memorable film to me. When production of the third film was halted due to Dylan O’Brien (Thomas) being injured on set, I wasn’t worried at all. Whether or not the film would ever see the light did not matter to me. Luckily though, O’Brien recovered and The Maze Runner: Death Cure is in theatres worldwide. Despite my initial disinterest in the franchise, I did go out to see it. But is it any good?
IMDB perfectly describes the plot better than I could ever do without giving too much away:
In the epic finale to The Maze Runner Saga, Thomas leads his group of escaped Gladers on their final and most dangerous mission yet. To save their friends, they must break into the legendary last city, a WCKD controlled labyrinth that may turn out to be the deadliest maze of all. Anyone who makes it out alive will get the answers to the questions the Gladers have been asking since they first arrived in the maze. Will Thomas and the crew make it out alive? Or will Ava Paige get her way?
The Grey Area
In The Scorch Trials we saw how Teresa betrayed everyone and joined WCKD because she believed they could find a cure. Naturally nobody was too pleased about that. In this film, Teresa works for WCKD and is determined to find a cure. To obtain that cure, one of her old friends Minho is being used as a test subject. But Thomas and the gang are determined to get him back after a failed rescue operation. Apart from that, it turns out that Thomas’ other friend Newt has been keeping secrets from him as well.
Despite not having read the books, I read a summary of the plot and it turns out the storyline of the film is entirely different from the novel. Perhaps that is a good thing, as at least the film has plenty of excitement and scares to go around. The thing I like about the film is that the characters all truly believe that they are doing good. In other dystopian films, the bad guys are one hundred percent bad. Take President Snow in the Hunger Games series for example. WCKD, despite its unfortunate name, truly want to find a cure. The fact that they torment and murder teenagers to get the cure is just an unfortunate fact. I like the grey area between these characters. That said, later on in the film, the baddies do turn bad for the sake of being bad. Necessary for the tension, but a shame in a way.
Not a bad film
The Death Cure hasn’t had the best reviews yet, however, I don’t necessarily think it was really bad. The film was action-packed with plenty of scares and thrills. There is not a lot of time for character development, but let’s be fair, this is not the sort of film you watch for that sake. The story basically follows the basic concept every dystopian YA-series as most others. There are no surprises. No shocking twists you don’t see coming from miles away. It is never a memorable film, but it is entertaining enough for a Saturday night.
Will it save YA Fantasy/Science-fiction films?
After the success of Harry Potter, Twilight and The Hunger Games, every major studio was looking for a series to cash in on. Divergent did okay, up until the last one which resulted in the last film being considered to be made for television alone. The Mortal Instruments flopped. The Maze Runner did quite alright, considering its medium budget turned out enough profit to continue the series. Yet it has never filled the YA-shaped gap left when all the previous series ended. While The Death Cure will have no issue drawing in crowds, considering it has no stiff competition at the moment, I highly doubt Hollywood will continue the Dystopian trend. Instead, we see a lot of standalone contemporary novels being made into movies (Everything, Everything & Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda). Give it a short while before the Faes will hit the big screen and become popular.