By Liz Lopez

Rating: B-/C+

“Maze Runner: The Death Cure” is the third of the sci-fi movie franchise that began with “The Maze Runner” that premiered in 2014, followed by “Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials” (2015). They are based on the James Dashner’s YA novels and this third movie in the series is best viewed after having seen the prior two films. It does not adequately inform the viewer about the prior stories in order to stand alone and be entertaining. A person who is unfamiliar with what the youth have been going through to date could possibly think that “Maze Runner: The Death Cure” is just another zombie story without understanding completely what the big city folks behind a wall are doing. The director, Wes Ball, and screenwriter T.S. Nowlin have worked together on all three films (the first had additional writers), so this overall film brings the trilogy to a close that leaves the viewer feeling like they are ready for this story to end. I frankly think this two hour and twenty – two minute film is way too long and I was ready to leave the theater by the time the credits rolled.

For fans of a film full of action “The Death Cure” has plenty. While entertaining to a certain degree, but with a lack of information about the characters and plot from previous films, why will anyone care who lives or dies, who is important to the story, or why would we cheer when a villain becomes a meal?

The young cast of “The Death Cure” are excellent as far as working with the material they are given.  Dylan O’Brien (“American Assassin”) stars in the leading role as Thomas. He appears as if he is going through the required motions of his role, but after having viewed his performance in a more adult role this past year, his work in “The Death Cure” appears rather routine, nothing standout. He is good, but the material to work with for him is lacking. For someone who ran into an “ex,” Theresa (Kaya Scodelario), O’Brien’s character looked too restrained when they come face to face. I expected to have seen much more drama if this is from a young adult perspective.

Thomas Brodie-Sangster returns as Newt and is part of the team trying to rescue their friend Minho (Ki Hong Lee). The latter actor is excellent as he portrays someone prodded and poked in the WCKD lab, led by Ava Page (Patricia Clarkson) and Janson (Aidan Gillen) head of security, as they look for a possible cure for the virus.

Additional characters and the cast members that portray them include Frypan (Dexter Darden), Jorge (Giancarlo Esposito), Brenda (Rosa Salazar), Vince (Barry Pepper), Glader Gally (Will Poulter) and Lawrence (Walton Goggins) – a character with very interesting scenes I won’t reveal in this review.

“The Maze Runner: The Death Cure” does the job to conclude the trilogy that is an adequate experience for fans, but it is best to enter the theater with low expectations and then be pleasantly surprised at the occasional bright spots in performances and action sequences.

Save your movie bucks for other feature films, and view this film during the discounted times at the theater, or better yet, find the PG -13 rated film at the theaters that feature box office discounts.

Source: 20th Century Fox

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