After the phenomenal success of the Harry Potter and Twilight books and films, Young Adult (YA) fiction was all the rage peaking around five years ago thanks to titles like The Hunger Games and The Divergent Series. Bestselling novels that became hit films, catapulting actresses Jennifer Lawrence and Shailene Woodley into the big time, the flavour of the month/half decade has just about run out of puff.
It’s good timing then for Maze Runner: The Death Cure. The final instalment in the generally entertaining Maze Runner series (which has made Will Poulter’s face a force to be reckoned with), neatly ties up the story with the help of a healthy cast including Walton Goggins (The Shield) and Aidan Gillen (Game of Thrones) , excellent digital and practical FX that paint a frightening picture of our potential dystopian future, and a script that hits all the right notes for the genre.
If Mad Max, The Terminator and Blade Runner had a baby it would look something like this film. And that’s a good thing. Perhaps with a dash of San Andreas in there too….
This third movie kicks off with a bang as a large fortified train rumbles across the decimated landscape. Following on from the events of the first two films, a rogue man-made virus called The Flare has turned the majority of the Earth’s population into bloodthirsty zombies.
Small pockets of unaffected people live in walled cities and it is here that the train is heading with a cargo of immune children, in the hope that a cure can be found.
In a spectacular set-piece, the train is hijacked and one of the carriages is successfully poached.
Unfortunately it does not contain the person of interest for the hijackers and they form a plan to infiltrate the city to retrieve their pal.
There are an awful lot of generic action film sequences in this one, but they don’t feel tired, perhaps due to the youthful cast and the genuine quality of the FX and the production design. Things look and feel real, from the train to the large aerial vehicles known as Bergs, (despite these looking like they are lifted straight out of Halo).
I was a bit rusty on the plot of the first two films, but was able to pick up the gist of things pretty easily meaning you probably don’t need to see the first couple for things to make sense.
All in all this is a solid final chapter in the world of the Gladers, who in real life are onto other projects, and (unlike the Divergent Series and the failure to wrap up that franchise due to poor critical and commercial results,) Maze Runner: The Death Cure should deliver a satisfying end to the saga for fans, and for casual cinema-goers keen for an action flick with a dystopian sci-fi twist.
3 Stars – A Satisfying End to an Entertaining Sci-Fi Saga