Movie Review – Maze Runner: The Death Cure

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The “Maze Runner” finally returns with the last installment, ‘The Death Cure,’ after a year of delayed production due to its leading actor’s (Dylan O’Brien) onset injury.

Things have changed in the last couple of years.  The gold standard of YA dystopian adaptation, “The Hunger Games” series ended on a high note.  On the other end of the spectrum, the “Divergent” series faded away, literally; the last installment didn’t even make it into the big screen.  The other YA movies, “Ender’s Game” and “The Giver” are one-movie deal.  The “Maze Runner” trilogy fits between “The Hunger Games” and “Divergent.”  It might not have reached the sizable mainstream audience earned by “The Hunger Games,” but it has its  fans.

With the mystery now blown open and horror factor introduced earlier, the movie is able to maintain suspense by sticking to its vast set pieces and wall-to-wall action, high-speed style.  Hooks and cables aid flying planes lifting a speeding train car and dangling bus filled with terrified kids.  Teens hide and run for their lives amidst urban warfare, pursued by armed soldiers with the undead lurking.

Underneath all the action, relationships are tested, friendships endure, loyalty leaves no one behind, survival is front and center, lives are lost, and the greater good is a maze of gray areas.  ‘The Death Cure’ questions humanity and sacrifice.

Most of the world have been destroyed by a solar flare and population infected by a virus that turns humans into zombies.  It would be easy to dismiss a corporation that experiments on innocent humans without their consent as evil, especially when viewed from the hunted and imprisoned humans.

What if the ultimate goal is to develop a cure that would eradicate the virus, even if it means harvesting from and torturing immune children and teens?  What about building a wall to keep those who could be potentially infected, away from the last remaining city?  If the cure becomes available and in limited supply, who decides the recipients?  Could the poor get the cure?  Are you willing to compromise your humanity?  How many lives would be cut short first?  How far are you willing to sacrifice?

‘The Death Cure’ doesn’t wrap up with an easy resolution, somber with an uncertain hope.  But the thrills and scares, along with deeper thematic elements, make it worth watching through the end.

Copyright (c) 2018.  Nathalia Aryani.

Nathalia Aryani is a film columnist and has a movie blog, The MovieMaven ( Twitter: @the_moviemaven. She can be reached at

Nathalia Aryani is a Rotten Tomatoes-approved film critic ( She has a movie blog, The MovieMaven ( Twitter: @the_moviemaven. She can be reached at [email protected].

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