From The Hunger Games to the Divergent series, the dystopian young adult anthology has gone through a full life cycle. During the height of the popularity, it seemed that Hollywood could not get out films in this genre fast enough. The Maze Runner franchise sits in amongst the offerings over the past decade with the differentiating element of being driven by young men being the central characters. The boys in the maze have garnered marginal success in light of some of the other series, but even as this genre seems to be running out of steam, this franchise must have enough left in the tank for fans to receive closure.
Coming off of their journey through The Scorch Trials and discovering the intentions of WCKD, Thomas (Dylan O’Brien) and the remaining Gladers team up with the remnant of uninfected humans. Their goals are to free their captured friends from the evil intentions of the corporation that kept them captive for so long and establish a new world away from the infection that destroyed life on earth. The most significant obstacle for the crew of misfits is to infiltrate the mythical Last City, a heavily fortified strong-hold that holds their counterparts captive and contains the answers to all of their questions they have had since entering the Maze.
Due to an on-set injury to Dylan O’Brien, the production for the third chapter in the Maze Runner hits theatres a year later than initially planned. Even though this was an unfortunate situation, it may have provided Wes Bell (director of the franchise) time to develop the story and has potentially delivered the best film of the trilogy. Maze Runner: The Death Cure fails to measure up to other films within this genre, but the young director does manage to finish things with a bang.
This is a movie for fans of the book series and it is essential for viewers to have seen the previous chapters to understand the storyline. Not to say that these films are overly complicated, but things will only make sense for those who have been along for the ride. No new standards are being set by Bell’s films, but he seems to be comfortable allowing the action sequences to be the key drivers. The third movie does contain a few well-timed twists, but it is the explosions, chase scenes and fight sequences that provide the lion’s share of the entertainment value.
The saviour mentality pervades this genre, with the fate of the known world being in the hands of one young person to save it from itself. Maze Runner: The Death Cure contains the most definite correlation with the Jesus narrative of any series. Due to the direct reference to Thomas’ blood being the primary means of salvation for the human race as the cure for the infection that is destroying all life on earth. This narrative continues to prove that in fiction and real-life, there is one driving question for humanity, where can we hope and find salvation in light of the impending death that confronts everyone? Unlike most young-adult novels that fizzle with their concluding stances on the saviour figure, the story of Jesus is still the most compelling and hopeful message offered to the world.
Wes Bell’s does admirable work with the conclusion to this franchise and manages to save the best for last. It is not groundbreaking cinema and will not light up the box office, but it does offer a power-packed punch that will round out the series and should prove to be satisfying to fans.
REEL DIALOGUE – Find out more about the question: Where can we find hope and salvation in light of the impending death that confronts us all? Biography of Jesus