Of all of the dystopian young adult franchises to die horrible, financially unremarkable deaths, “Maze Runner” was not one I expected to still be breathing by the third installment.
But here we are, and surprisingly, “Maze Runner: The Death Cure” managed to take the number one slot in the box office. So, has this series ended on a high note? Or is this movie, like its predecessors, a silly post-apocalyptic film so dedicated to its premise, it fails to see its own stupidity?
With Thomas (Dylan O’Brien, “American Assassin”) joining the remnants of the resistance force, The Right Hand, he and his allies set out to rescue the children held hostage for being immune to the zombification disease, The Flare. However, when our protagonist discovers the villainess W.C.K.D. still has one of his friends, Thomas heads to their headquarters to free him and take the corporation down.
The biggest issue with “Maze Runner” is that its story has always served its plot. Rather than the two working together to create a meaningful narrative, the story only exists because the titular maze and the action of running through the aforementioned labyrinth is only a premise. It’s not something that could be strung out for the length of a novel or full-length feature film, let alone a trilogy of either. Because of this, nothing feels relevant since any element appears to have little thought out into their creation or purpose.
Due to this, the third installment is meaningless. I can’t help but focus on the fact that the existence of the maze is completely inconsequential. This isn’t helped by the fact that every character and group is laughably idiotic. Everything that everyone does is so stupid, it’s impossible to not laugh at.
Also, what is up with all of these young adult franchises having ridiculous names for things that already exist? A group that could be called “The Resistance” is instead called “The Right Hand,” whatever that means. The undead are called “Cranks” but wouldn’t referring to them as “zombies” suffice? Even the cure for the virus has an awful, unnecessary name: “The Bliss.” Is this an attempt to be unique and separate it from the other franchises that do this as well? Because it all sounds stupid.
Also, I doubt you noticed that the incredibly subtle name of the W.C.K.D. is an abbreviation of the word “Wicked”. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
With all of this negativity, there is one thing I have to say: I honestly think that “Maze Runner” is pretty cool. Seriously. There’s a lot in this series that has the potential to be awesome and exciting. Obviously, these elements are bogged down by the sheer stupidity of everything else, which makes me sad.
However, as I write this, something occurs to me. Despite how deceptively cool “The Death Cure” is, it’s unnecessary for anyone to see because there’s a video game that’s very similar that already exists that’s infinitely better: “The Last of Us.” Both are about a plague that wiped out the majority of humans, turning most of the remaining into zombies. The survivors are caught in a dystopian society, held down by a militarized police force. Lastly, there’s someone immune to the virus and people want that individual to create a cure.
The difference is that the video game is a spectacular work of art that is emotionally gripping with much more compelling characters So, instead of paying to see “Maze Runner: The Death Cure,” dust off your PlayStation 4, install “The Last of Us,” and enjoy a great game.