Where to find salvation in the face of death
Review: Maze Runner: The Death Cure
(M) Dylan O’Brien, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Ki Hong Lee, Kaya Scodelario
From The Hunger Games to the Divergent series, the dystopian young adult anthology has gone through a full life cycle. During the height of the genre’s popularity, it seemed that Hollywood could not get out these films fast enough. The Maze Runner franchise sits in amongst the offerings over the past decade with the differentiating element of being driven by young men being the central characters. The boys in the maze have garnered marginal success and even as this genre seems to be running out of steam, this franchise has enough left in the tank for fans to receive closure.
After discovering the intentions of WCKD in The Scorch Trials, Thomas (Dylan O’Brien) and the remaining Gladers team up with the remnant of uninfected humans. Their goals are to free their captured friends from the evil intentions of the corporation that kept them captive for so long and establish a new world away from the infection that destroyed life on earth. The most significant obstacle for the crew of misfits is to infiltrate the mythical Last City. The Last City is a heavily fortified strong-hold that holds their counterparts captive and contains the answers to all of their questions since they first entered the Maze.
Due to an on-set injury to Dylan O’Brien, the production for the third chapter in the Maze Runner hits theatres a year later than initially planned. Even though this was an unfortunate situation, it may have provided director, Wes Ball, time to develop the story and potentially delivering the best film of the trilogy. Maze Runner: The Death Cure fails to measure up to other films within this genre, but the young director does manage to finish things with a bang.
It’s a film for the book series fans and it is essential for viewers to have seen the previous chapters to understand the storyline. Not to say that these films are overly complicated, but things will only make sense for those who have been along for the ride. No new standards are being set by Ball’s films, but he seems to be comfortable allowing the action sequences to be the key drivers. The third film does contain a few well-timed twists, but it is the explosions, chase scenes and fight sequences that provide the lion’s share of the entertainment value.
The saviour mentality pervades this genre, with the fate of the known world being in the hands of one young person to save it from itself. Maze Runner: The Death Cure contains the most definite correlation with the Jesus narrative of any series. Due to the direct reference to Thomas’ blood being the primary means of salvation for the human race as the cure for the infection that is destroying all life on earth. This narrative continues to prove that in fiction and real-life. There is one driving question for humanity: Where can we hope and find salvation in light of the impending death that confronts everyone? Unlike most young-adult novels that fizzle with their concluding stances on the saviour figure, the story of Jesus is still the most compelling and hopeful message offered to the world.
Wes Ball’s does admirable work with the conclusion to this franchise and manages to save the best for last. It is not ground-breaking cinema and will not light up the box office, but it does offer a power-packed punch that will round out the series and should prove to be satisfying to fans.
Looking Deeper: Where can we find hope and salvation in light of the impending death that confronts us all? Biography of Jesus
Russell Matthews works for City Bible Forum Sydney and is a film blogger.
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