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January 31, 2018

The Maze Runner 3: Death Cure (2018) --- "The Cure For Death Is Life, Or Rather A Zombie Life."

Plot Summary
Thomas leads some escaped Gladers on their final and most dangerous mission yet. To save their friends, they must break into the legendary Last City, a WCKD-controlled labyrinth that may turn out to be the deadliest maze of all. Anyone who makes it out alive will get answers to the questions that the Gladers have been asking since they arrived in the maze. (1) 

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Hello, Movie Buffs! 
      The Death Cure (2018) is the final film in The Maze Runner trilogy about an apocalyptic world after an illness, called the Flare, turns people into zombie-like creatures, called Cranks. This film finishes the story by following Thomas and his friends as they head to the last standing city to save their friend, Minho, and take down the Government Association known as WCKD. To be honest, after the disappointment that was The Scorch Trials, mostly due to its predictability and cliché zombie style, I was not expecting this film to be one of the strongest yet and the cast delivers wonderful performances. This franchise fell behind the herd that was young adult books-to-films hype due to Dylan O'Brien's injuries during filming but that doesn’t make it the weakest. In fact, I believe that The Death Cure beat out other series in the pack as one of the most solid films: Twilight was not well received, the Divergent series fell so flat that its final film is to be a TV movie, and The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones (2013) strayed so far from the book that it couldn’t even get past the first film.
     The Maze Runner (2014) had a decent amount of intensity and darkness, kind of like a PG version of Lord of the Flies (1990), but as the film franchise progresses each new installment gets darker and more intense. The Maze Runner offered mystery, The Scorch Trials drops some of the mystery in favor of horror but The Death Cure offered a bit of both as well as some much-needed action. The story picks up right after the events in The Scorch Trials (2015) and it is much deeper and more complex than the previous two films. The action takes off within the first few minutes; it is fast moving and heart racing. The film alternates between the action and the standstill scenes in a way that makes it effectively exciting and entertaining. The makeup used for the Cranks, is outstanding and the evolution from human to Crank is like Warm Bodies (2013) meets World War Z (2013). The tone of this film is more emotional and somber; it’s matured with the characters.
     The characters are reestablished very early on in the film and the actors deliver their performances very well. Dylan O'Brien (American Assassin) as Thomas is a great actor and did a really good job in a physically demanding role. Rosa Salazar (Alita: Battle Angle) as Brenda was a bit forgettable in The Scorch Trials but she did a lot better in this film. I can’t wait to see her in Alita: Battle Angle later this year. Thomas Brodie-Sangster (Nanny McPhee) as Newt and Dexter Darden (Joyful Noise) as Frypan are great roles of comic relief. Of the two, my favorite is Newt who affects a good portion of Thomas’ decisions in this film. Ki Hong Lee (Wish Upon) as Minho, is great but I think he could have been used better in the film. From what I read his role in this film is different than how its portrayed in the book. Once his character starts gaining some more action scenes then his performance is more elevated. Kaya Scodelario (POTC: Dead Men Tell No Tales) as Teresa is good but I didn’t find her character to be super impressive, although her sincerity over what she did to her friends, especially Thomas, is believable. Patricia Clarkson (Green Mile) as Doctor Ava Paige is surprisingly great. At first, her methods in finding the cure appear to be wicked but here we get to see her compassion and guilt for what she’s done all in the name of good intentions. She plays less of a villainous role here which gives Aiden Gillen (Game of Thrones) as Janson, the chance to elevate the film by being the bad guy.
     Overall, Maze Runner: The Death Cure (2018) is an entertaining and more in-depth final installment in the trilogy. The action is fast-paced and begins immediately, the characters are quickly reintroduced, and the Cranks makeup is great. This was a satisfying end to a surprisingly great trilogy that surpassed a number of popular YA book-to-films series – like Twilight, Divergent, Mortal Instruments, etc – in its solidness and well-rounded ending. I am curious if director Wes Ball (Maze Runner) plans to do film adaptations of the two prequels books, Kill Order and Fever Code.
P.S. I recommended this film to anyone 11 and older.  

"How many kids do they have to round up, torture, kill? When the hell does it stop?"
- Thomas [to Teresa]

Final Vote
Worth Seeing:  8.4 of 10 stars
Worth Buying:  8.4 of 10 stars

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Movies Similar 
28 Days Later (2003)
After Earth (2013)
Divergent (2014)
The Divergent Series 3: Allegiant (2016)
The Divergent Series 4: Ascendant (TBD)
The Divergent Series 2: Insurgent (2015)
Eagle Eye (2008)
Ender's Game (2013)
The Giver (2014)
I Am Number Four (2011)
The Maze Runner (2014)
The Maze Runner 2: Scorch Trials (2015)
Resident Evil: Afterlife (2010)
Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004)
Resident Evil: Extinction (2007)
Resident Evil: Retribution (2012)
Underworld 1 (2003)
Underworld 2: Evolution (2006)
Underworld 3: Rise of the Lycans (2009)
Underworld 4: Awakening (2012)
Underworld 5: Blood Wars (2016)
Warm Bodies (2013)

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