‘Maze Runner The Death Cure’: Together to the WICKED end

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Warning: Spoilers lurk in the Maze!

The third movie in the Maze Runner film series, The Death Cure finds hero Thomas and his band of misfit kids and outcast adults fighting the government agency WICKED, the apocalyptic virus known as The Flare, and sometimes even each other!

So Minho (Ki Hong Lee) was one of the original Gladers, the kids who were forced to run through the Maze of the very first film, just like rats in a giant Tryon-like experiment. And Thomas (Dylan O’Brien), with Newt (Thomas Brodie-Sangster) and Brenda (Rosa Salazar) and Jorge (Giancarlo Esposito) and several other Flare survivors, are about to rescue Minho from a WICKED transport train – or so they think.

Even after all that, admittedly some very cool action sequences, the survivors still haven’t managed to get ahold of Minho, and he’s fully on WICKED’s radar now, so nothing would do but for Minho to get dropped back into the government’s experimental programs again, but with a twist – all that Maze and monster technology is being used to fry directly into Minho’s brain, who cares how it affects him so long as there are results in a working cure for the Flare.

Teresa (Kayla Scodelario), that traitorous girl who rejoined WICKED when she learned the truth about the Maze and the Glade and the Flare, is now working on the cure in the last surviving human city left on earth (so they claim), alongside Ava Paige (Patricia Clarkson), who is still sadly employing Janson (Aidan Gillen), also known to the Gladers as the Rat Man, to do her necessary dirty work. Time is running out even for the people behind high city walls, as the virus known as the Flare is now airborne, and Paige estimates only a months time before every single last one of them is infected. Such news wipes the smirk right off Janson’s face and he plows into finding Thomas and his crew with renewed vigor.

Thomas meanwhile, is actually headed right for the unnamed last city, but to get in there first he would need a guide who knows the place. This guide also happens to know the Flare world of the infected known colloquially as Cranks, and indeed, though he admits he deserved to be punished for his part in the Glade betrayals, Gally (Will Poulter) managed to survive, somehow.

Time is running shorter than anyone realizes, especially when Newt is forced to reveal to Thomas the black veins climbing his arms, and meanwhile over there is WICKED central tower, Janson is preparing to basically de-brain Minho entirely, for the sake of getting a working cure for the Flare right now. A whole bunch of fiddling with various tags, marks, electronic sensors and spies has gone on by this point, but none of that seems to matter in the face of the stunning realization that Thomas, basically the Chosen One, the little rebel WICKED has been trying hard to take out for some time now, will be the one whose blood saves literally everyone. But there’s always time for a few last zinging reveals that won’t land quite right unless you’re a true fan of the entire Maze Runner series, and give a flip about things like character motivation and backstory.

This third film of the series is actually pretty good, certainly better than Scorch Trials, which was effectively a whole lot of nothing in the burned desert with wanna-be zombies. The action scenes are terrific without sliding into Michael Bay overkill territory, and all the actors deliver fine performances for their characters, who seem to have gotten a bit of an upgrade, in both tone and depth. It’s as though the filmmakers kind of went, ‘Oh yeah, we still make these Maze Runner movies, don’t we? Can we please make a new one that’s better than the last one?’ It actually worked, and if you’re any kind of fan of the Maze and its kids, you should see Death Cure in theaters right now!

Get infected with ‘Maze Runner The Death Cure’, in theaters now!