The final instalment of the Maze Runner film franchise, The Death Cure, presents a storyline so fast-paced it feels like you’ve surfaced from an intense binge-watching session once credits roll.
It’s a testament to director Wes Ball, who meshes apocalyptic vibes and dystopian future/sci-fi elements to create immersive landscapes that set the scene for Thomas’ (Dylan O’Brien) final showdown with WCKD.
Despite an extended gap between the latest offering and 2015’s The Scorch Trials – due to O’Brien suffering an on-set injury that halted production for a year – we’re dropped into a gripping action scene that sets the tone for what’s to follow, and after a few explosions and cheeky grins from the film’s star, it feels like no time has passed at all.
Death Cure manages to find a good balance between paying homage to its predecessors and the novels, while also carving its own path and, at times, feels like a straight-up action film with a hint of horror (the Cranks are just as scary as ever).
With that in mind, more humour would have served it well, as the rare dose of comedy broke up otherwise draining and relentless action scenes.
A series of familiar faces pop up throughout, but it’s Rosa Salazar, who portrays Brenda, who really steals the spotlight, outshining the likes of Kaya Scodelario (Teresa) and Game Of Thrones star Thomas Brodie-Sangster (Newt). No one, however, could outdo Walton Goggins, who took the character of Lawrence to the next level and could easily star in a spin-off prequel.
While all our favourites had plenty of onscreen time, it would have been great to see more of Patricia Clarkson’s Ava Paige, given the emotional significance of the character throughout the past two films.
Some of the aforementioned characters found themselves experiencing major developments too late in the film to have any real emotional significance, but there were enough twists and surprises throughout and early on to ensure an interesting ride.
The visually stunning conclusion to the journey embarked upon nine years ago by Supa-Star alumnus James Dashner and his books leaves the franchise on a high-point; answering more than viewers could have hoped for, but still leaving them wanting more.