Movies at TTB

You’d think by now that YA dystopian films would have run their course, but every once in a while, Hollywood manages to churn out more of the same material to sate the growing appetite of Generation Y moviegoers.

Delayed nearly a year from its original date of release due to Dylan O’Brien’s injuries, the final entry in the Maze Runner franchise hit theatres earlier this January. Two years after the Scorch Trials, most fans (including myself) had all but forgotten most of the storyline established in the previous two films. It is probably due to that reason I felt the film dedicates a good portion of its first act to remind audiences about key events from the earlier entries that set up this film.

The film opens with Thomas and co desperately searching for Minho (who was taken by WCKD at the end of The Scorch Trials), going so far as to airlift a train carriage full of teenagers after a lengthy battle on a train track. The enemy looms in the form of an airborne virus called the Flare that has infected a majority of the Earth’s population, leaving the uninfected holed up inside The Last City, a WCKD controlled metropolis where tests are run on teenagers immune to the virus. Kaya Scodelario’s Teresa, who pulled a Judas at the end of the last film runs tests on blood obtained from Minho (Ki Hong Lee), in hopes of finding a cure but her efforts are all but in vain until she realizes that Thomas’ blood holds the key.

Thomas, on the other hand, is still shown to have feelings for Teresa, despite her continuous betrayals, justified by her goal of doing what she feels is right in order to save the human race; a similar trait shared by the two of them that comes under criticism from Brenda (Rosa Salazar). In spite of the continuously stupid decisions made by Thomas, his friends strangely follow him to The Last City where they infiltrate the high tech fortress with a little help from a frenemy long-believed to be dead. Aiden Gillen gives us another great villanous performance as Janson, who runs the city along with Ava Paige (Patricia Clarkson).

The 142 minute runtime somewhat bloats this sequel as it moves on from one action set-piece to the other without answering some burning questions that audiences have had from the first film itself. Why was a labyrinthine maze somehow designed as an experiment to find a cure to the zombie-turning virus?

There is nothing quite mindblowing about the film in general but Wes Ball manages to give us action sequences that are creatively orchestrated by circumstances and well shot. However, if any new YA adaptations are to hit theatres, I believe they should amp up the game and give us a whole new different setting as opposed to the dystopian futures that we’ve seen in the Hunger Games and Divergent.

All in all, The Maze Runner: The Death Cure provides a decent ending to a franchise without splitting the finale into a two-parter like Twilight or most YA films did. The action sequences alone make up for any shortcomings the film might have had and provide quite the spectacle on the big screen.

By Akash Sk