In 2009, young adult author James Dashner released “The Maze Runner” novel, the first book to a post-apocalyptic trilogy. Now, eight years later, the final installment of the trilogy has been made into a film.
The film series starts with “The Maze Runner” about a young man named Thomas as he wakes up in a place called the Glade and is not able to remember anything except his name. He soon discovers that the only way to escape is to run the maze that surrounds the Glade and stay away from robot-like creatures that prey on the Gladers. Thomas, Newt, Minho, Teresa and a few other Gladers manage to escape and hope they are not recaptured by WICKED, a government organization that started the Maze Trials to find a cure for the Flare. The Flare is a virus that causes people to become rabid and zombie-like, feeding on the flesh of those not infected. Only a select few young people in the population are immune; many of these immunes are Gladers.
“The Scorch Trials” then starts off with the same Gladers realizing they have, in fact, been recaptured by WICKED. They make a plan to escape the clutches of a WICKED scientist named Janson, one of the main antagonists of the novels. A handful of the escapees make their way through the rubble of what was once habitable land, now known as the Scorch. Here, they learn firsthand what the Flare is and how it can affect people. “The Scorch Trials” ends with Thomas and his friends discovering a resistance group called The Right Arm. They find sanctuary with the group until Teresa betrays them and calls WICKED to capture as many immunes as they can from the resistance group. The Gladers and some of their friends put up a fight until Minho and a large group of others are captured and WICKED leaves The Right Arm in rubble.
This is where “The Death Cure” picks up. Thomas, the Gladers and a few others decide to save a select few of the captured immunes, one in particular being Minho. They first start by successfully hijacking a railcar from one of WICKED’s trains, only to find Minho was not one of the passengers. Thomas, Newt and a few others make another plan to retrieve Minho by breaking into WICKED’s base of operations. In order to do this, they have to kidnap Teresa, who Thomas discovers he still cares for, and use her to break in. Will Thomas’ feelings get in the way of the plan?
The film features a fantastic cast: Dylan O’Brien as Thomas, Thomas Brodie-Sangster as Newt, Ki Hong Lee as Minho, Will Poulter as fellow Glader Gally and Aidan Gillen as Janson. The cast had an infectious chemistry that translated excellently onscreen. The direction of Wes Ball, who also directed the first two movies, helped audiences immerse themselves in the action of the film. The film score by John Paesano was impeccable, as it captured each moment flawlessly.
Like many other book to movie adaptations of popular young adult series, one problem with the “The Death Cure” was its derivation from the story originally written in the book. Though it still followed the basic premise with the same characters found in the novel, its main issue was how the previous movie, “The Scorch Trials”, set up the main plot point for the final installment of the series.
Though not a bad thing, the movie plot focused on the strong connection between the Gladers and their “no man is left behind” attitude that ultimately ended up getting the characters in trouble, instead of WICKED’s plan coming full circle and bringing destruction to the Gladers as James Dashner had originally written it to be.
Overall, the film was enjoyable. It put both readers of the series and unknowing audiences on the edge of their seats. It was a beautiful tribute to James Dashner’s vision and to the cast and crew who started with the first film and followed Thomas and his friends’ journey.
Rating: 4.7 out of 5
Calista Giroux is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.