Maze Runner: The Death Cure Review

It’s been quite a while since I saw the Scorch Trials but I knew that someday I would finish this series. That time is now and the Death Cure actually isn’t a bad film. For the most part it’s actually pretty solid but ends up losing a lot of steam by the time it reaches the ending. There really isn’t much of humanity left to save either.

The film starts with an almost humorous action scene where the main characters steal an entire train, knock out all of the guards and then fly out of there. They are lucky that the guards can’t shoot straight or that they had no cameras active to see the obvious traps that were set out for them. This sort of plot hax will be around for a while so now is a good time to get used to it. The characters have now freed over 100 kids and are ready to sail off to a better tomorrow. The problem is that one of their friends from the first film is still captured. Thomas, Newt, and Frypan head off to find him before also being joined by Jorge and Brenda. They will have to break into the enemy stronghold to free him and will have to risk everything one last time. Can they do it?

There is certainly a lot of action here. We have constant gun fights and miscellaneous explosions occurring off screen. There is even a hand to hand fight near the end. Naturally these kids aren’t exactly master martial arts so it’s really just both sides throwing a lot of punches as opposed to a lot of crispy choreography. The climax is really just one large war zone as the characters try to make it out in one piece.

The pacing isn’t bad either as things tend to move quickly. The heroes are rarely given a chance to rest and so the film is moving a lot as well. I can’t say the writing was all that good though as characters constantly sound like they are in a horror movie with all the needless yelling. The character cast also isn’t amazing and I had some issues with the ending. To explain why the ending is no ot that good without spoilers is a little tricky, but here goes. The whole film series is really about choosing a side. Is the government right for sacrificing around 50 kids to save the human population or should the kids simply escape but also soon humanity along with them? Well the choice was taken out of your hands early on as the government is unnecessarily cruel the whole time. They even go so far as to attempt to destroy one of the kids when harnessing his blood slowly would have been safer and could have saved more people. It’s also worth noting that their cures keep failing so they are gambling the kids lives on just a hunch. Then in the ending we basically realize that all hope is lost. Unless there is yet another lost city in the middle of nowhere but that would be super convenient. It means that the whole trilogy was ultimately pointless for most of the human race.

As I mentioned earlier there is also quite a lot of plot hax to be found here. The villains constantly seem to be on the losing side when they should have this in the bag. The amount of times they yell “freeze” is almost funny because the heroes absolutely never listen and it always results in the villains losing once again. The scene where the bus is surrounded is the worst part as they just watch one of the characters clip it to a construction crane and lift the bus out of there. They probably should have fired their guns.

Thomas is the main character and he is definitely no good. He is said to be a very forgiving character multiple times in the film to the point where he is ready to quickly forgive Teresa after she betrayed the heroes and took a role in torturing one of his friends. It’s not necessarily a bad thing that he forgives everyone but Thomas isn’t consistent about that. We’ve also got a kid who was mind controlled and forced into destroying another kid. The guy seemingly died but now he has returned and Thomas absolutely won’t forgive him. So really, it’s not that he is a forgiving person by nature, he just likes Teresa so he is willing to overlook her faults. He doesn’t handle the romance situation very well either and tends to not make very good commands as the leader. He’s just not a guy that you would want to follow into battle. Especially since he is always admitting that he has no idea what they are even doing.

Then we have Teresa who does not regret turning evil. That should mean she will be portrayed as a villain right? Well surprisingly the film actually tries to make her a little sympathetic with the classic the Ends Justify the Means line of thinking. That didn’t fly back in the day and it still doesn’t. She is on the wrong side and the film did a poor job of trying to show her switch sides or even making her cause look legitimate. As such the character was just pretty bad the whole time. The same goes for her Boss who spends the first two films capturing the kids and putting them in painful experiments. Now she is finally having second thoughts and it’s just way too late for that.

The only good villain is the main chief of security, Janson. He is sticking to his guns literally in this film as he shots quite a few characters and also knows how to fight. I mean, he’s not a great fighter as he can barely go even with Thomas but I suppose it’s a start at the very least. Janson also knows when it’s time to pull back and just win with a gun instead. His demise seems a little hard to buy since he would have known the room better than anyone and what it would take to break the glass though.

Newt was a solid character. He always does his best to support Thomas while also calling him out when the lead starts to act fishy. He has been infected for a while but manages to keep it quiet so as not to distract from the mission. Newt does have his typical blow up moment at Thomas which comes off as rather forced but that’s really his only iffy scene. Then we have the ex bully who still calls Thomas greeny. Honestly I barely remember the character at all so he may as well be a new character in this one. He is the commander of the resistance (How’d that happen?) aside from one old man who is consulted at times. He doesn’t tend to panic as much as the others and saves the leads quite a few times so at the very least he was really good in this film. More prepared than the others at the very least.

One scene that will really stick with you is when the main characters walk into a dark tunnel and are basically unarmed. Even if there wasn’t an army of zombies down there, what could they have possibly done against the villains in such a state? You have to bring a ton of ammo at the very least or some kind of plan. The heroes had neither and would have been doomed several times if they hadn’t kept getting saved. The whole film you are reminded of this as the heroes are just out of their depth for the majority of the movie.

Overall, The Death Cure isn’t a bad action film. I enjoyed it more than I thought I would and the series ends on a fairly good note. The ending is a little more hopeless than I would have liked and a certain death didn’t really need to happen since things were so bad already. It also didn’t help Thomas much either since at the very end he writes someone’s name down which basically proves his allegiance once more. If you want to see a film with a lot of action scenes then this is the place to go, but don’t expect it to be the kind of film that you will never forget.

Overall 6/10

Maze Runner The Scorch Trials Review

“You wouldn’t last a day in the scorch!” That line still cracks me up since it’s practically a parody of a line. Seriously, I can’t imagine anyone saying that without laughing immediately afterwards. It’s a very transparent way to build up hype for the scorch since it’s apparently so much tougher than the Maze. Is it tougher? Nah, I’ll take Zombies over super fast creatures of destruction any day. You would too I assume! Unfortunately, this film’s pretty bad honestly and reminds me why I was never afraid of lasting a day in the scorch!

Thomas is still the main character and he’s as unlikable as ever. If you remember, the kids survived the maze only to find out that it was a government installation of sorts so they have joined another government in hopes of defeating the original organization and now they can spread peace and harmony across the cosmos. There were a lot of other mazes apparently so these guys mean business. Every day about 10-20 kids are taken away to freedom….or are they!? Thomas finally realizes that this whole thing is very sketchy so he decides to escape with the others. Turns out that the outside world has been contaminated so everyone is a zombie now. The kids are the only ones who are immune to a slight extent, but not all of them are immune…just some. They must now find the resistance and try to stay alive since plot isn’t one of the film’s strong suits.

Then again, what is the film’s strong suit? I’ve never been a fan of zombies as the villains in a film so that didn’t do it any favors. They’re about as weak and slow as you would expect and aren’t really much of a threat. The resistance introduces us to quite a lot of new characters since there’s the fake resistance and the real one. The fake version brings us two new characters. A romance character and an old man who makes the tough calls. Unfortunately, they don’t end up being all that good. The old man gets one good moment where he rams a truck through the villains. The girl seemed to have just been included for the party scene towards the end where she gets drunk and we have a forced scene between her and Thomas. They both look terrible and the romance comes out of nowhere. They have the excuse of being drunk, but it’s not an excuse that holds any water with me. They were still in control of their actions.

I’d say that part of the problem with the film is that they’re all teens. This means that none of them are actually all that interesting and they’re all pretty whiny for the most part. The guys are pretty cheap and the female member of the group turns out to be a Mami (Madoka) in the end. She can’t take the pressure and always makes the wrong calls. Thomas has a good plan at the end of the film, but it’s effectively foiled when he freezes up in the clutch moments. The ending would be hype if the characters were more exciting since they’re planning to finally take on the offensive for the first time in the series. That will definitely be novel even if they seem to be pretty doomed the whole time. The organization is clearly a lot larger and more advanced than the resistance, but the heroes will try to pull something off I suppose.

The villains are all fairly uninspired. The best one would probably be the main guy I guess. He talked tough a lot and even got a good shot in on Thomas when the kid wasn’t expecting it. This guy plays for keeps and he’s certainly more original than the old lady who talks about how noble the mission is. Didn’t we just see that in the Hunger Games after all? Didn’t the Giver also involve an old lady? I’m seeing a trend here and you don’t want to see trends so easily. It’s not a great way to show off a writer’s originality.

Films like these also make you feel bad for the resistance. They’re always doing very well against the tyranny that they are resisting until the main characters show up. Thomas and friends basically lead the villains to the first base, which they promptly blow up and then lead the villains to the Resistance main headquarters which is also blown up. Seriously, nobody should want to hang out with the main characters since it means that they are basically doomed. They bring a trail of death and destruction in their wake. It helps that they’re not likable of course.

I’d still say that this film is better than the average Hunger Games Adventure though. At the very least, I’d say that this one beats the last two Hunger Game films even if this isn’t one of the more enjoyable adventures out there. At the very least it was a little more interesting although only marginally so. There’s not a whole lot left to fight for in this world and the villains are pretty overpowered. With the human race essentially extinct, you’re essentially just going to prolong your existence for a few decades before the zombies take everyone down. I don’t see any way that the people can rebuild based on how utterly destroyed everything is. At least they don’t seem to be stretching the series so the next film is supposed to be the final one to end the era.

Overall, The Scorch Trials weren’t all that bad. If not for the government looking for the main characters the entire time, it would actually be a breeze. Finding food and such wasn’t all that hard. Water’s more of an issue, but the Scorch Trials really did not live up to the hype of how tough they were supposed to be. It was still funny to see a character wish he was back in the maze. No sir, you don’t want to be back in the maze. If anything, the maze makes you a sitting duck since the main characters can get sniped at any moment. There’s going to be a lot of tension in the next film since one of the characters ended up cracking, but hopefully it’s pure tension and doesn’t delve into romantic tension. After what the character did, I hope they don’t even try for an emotional appeal. A lot of people died directly due to the decision that was made so there’s no way to spin that into a good thing, but let’s face it…the film’s going to try. I’ll have my popcorn ready for the attempt! Instead of watching this film, go watch the Super Smash Bros Brawl cutscenes…you’ll thank me later!

Overall 4/10