Maze Runner finale is full of climaxes

(From far left) Dylan O'Brien, Giancarlo Esposito and Rosa Salazar star in Maze Runner: The Death Cure.
(From left) Dylan O'Brien, Giancarlo Esposito and Rosa Salazar star in Maze Runner: The Death Cure.PHOTO: TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX

Chases and gun battles do not let up in the last edition of the Maze Runner trilogy

REVIEW / ACTION THRILLER

MAZE RUNNER: THE DEATH CURE (PG13)

142 minutes/Now showing

2.5 stars

The story: In this conclusion to the Maze Runner trilogy, Minho (Lee Ki Hong) is now a prisoner of WCKD, which uses him as a test subject to find a cure for the Flare virus. Thomas (Dylan O'Brien), Newt (Thomas Brodie-Sangster) and Frypan (Dexter Darden) attempt an assault of the WCKD stronghold to rescue Minho, against the orders of resistance leader Jorge (Giancarlo Esposito).

Welcome to the age of peak Harry Potter-Chosen One storylines. There is a young person who, through no effort of his own, is born with a quality that causes women to take a bullet for him and droves of men to die protecting him from a villain afraid of his power.

Not having read the books on which this series is based, this reviewer thought there was a chance that this trilogy would break the mould.

But as this film shows, it not only keeps the mould intact, it does so in a half-hearted way that feels like it is going through the motions.

Yes, there is something special about Thomas (O'Brien, returning after an on-set injury that held back the film's release for a year).

But the way his gift is revealed and used in the story, it might as well not have been there and, in fact, its exclusion would have cured the weakness of all Chosen One stories: that having a gift at birth is the only gift worth having, rather than the one you earn by working hard.

 

The producers want to end the series with a bang and they succeed too well. The film starts with the action level set at the maximum and stays there for the rest of the movie. This movie does not have a climax; everything in the movie is a climax.

Because of the stress on chases and gun battles, hordes of people die for Thomas, because, well, he is an amazing guy.

That was established in the earlier films. If one cannot remember them, prepare to be puzzled by the willingness of supporting players to brave a storm of bullets for him.

It does not help that O'Brien is a bland presence, overshadowed by supporting cast members Lee and Brodie-Sangster.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 26, 2018, with the headline 'Maze of climaxes'. Print Edition | Subscribe