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Movie Breakdown: Maze Runner – The Death Cure

January 25, 2018

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Pre-Screening Stance:

Will Maze Runner – The Death Cure be the walk-off home run that the series so desperately needs in order to make the YA film hall of fame?  Probably not, but I’ve seen weirder things happen.

Post-Screening Ramble:

Maze Runner – The Death Cure is long, boring and dumb.  I can’t say I was expecting much from it, especially after the uninspired Scorch Trials, but I thought that maybe series director Wes Ball would go all out for the finale just for the hell of it.  Well, he sort of did – this movie feels like the biggest of the three – but it’s a completely forgettable effort simply because there’s nothing in it worth caring about.  Thomas (Dylan O’Brien) and his super friends are barreling towards the end goal of freedom and no overseers, which seems like it should be important, but it gets glossed over by their strong desire to find the captured Minho (Ki Hong Lee).  This mostly just gets a bunch of nameless young-ins killed  Isn’t the goal to save everyone?  It’s so stupid!  Also, it’s really tedious.  The damn movie should have been called Maze Runner – Where’s Minho?.  There’s bunch of other stupid things at play here as well – like a super-secret-may-not-even-be-real city that has an enormous amount of refugees living outside of it, everyone’s perfectly stylized hair, and a “this is why you’re special” ending that’s super anticlimactic – but there’s no real need to dive into any of that.  Just skip this one and go live your life.

One Last Thought:

This is a completely spoiler-filled last thought, so if this movie is important to you DO NOT read any further.  OK.  Here I go.  Towards the end of the film Thomas gets shot and barely makes it out of a burning building.  As he’s being dramatically saved, he passes out and then wakes up on an island with all of his friends and a bunch of young refugees.  His unconsciousness, I assume, only lasted a day or so, but when he rises, the new (and only previously dreamed of) colony is fully built.  There’s huge tents and established traditions and shit.  How long was Thomas asleep?!  Years?  Why did he not seem at all fazed by a fully realized village that was built while he was napping?  I found this to be more unbelievable than a villain group called WICKED.

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Movie Breakdown: Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials

September 17, 2015

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The Impression:

I only saw The Maze Runner because for a while it was on HBO every two to three hours.  I thought it was okay.  The Scorch Trials looks like it features even more young adults running and yelling, so I guess I’m in.

The Reality:

The somewhat odd thing about Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials is that it’s essentially just the first film without a maze.  This probably would have been fine, but the new scorched (get it?) open world setting is really uninspired, and that makes watching a bunch of kids complaining about being oppressed/abused/trapped/whatever by the man (a big corporation with the least scary name possible – W.C.K.D.) a lot less entertaining and/or tolerable.  Sure, scattered throughout the dystopian walk-a-about are moments where people do heroic things, make grand statements and all that jazz, but I couldn’t get myself to care.  At least in the initial entry in the series there was something for everyone to focus on and figure out (what’s the deal with this crazy maze, man?).  In The Scorch Trials, there is a mission, but it’s nothing more than a convenient way to shift all of the characters from Point A to Point B so that the third film gets properly setup.  I understand that approach (Hollywood gotta get that sequel money), but because of it the movie feels flat and is ultimately a fairly forgettable effort.

Only catch The Scorch Trials if you’re a fan of the first movie (or maybe just the YA genre in general), but keep your expectations fully in check.  It’s clearly not meant to be anything but a serviceable bridge to the next flick.

The Lesson:

The whole YA thing is becoming tiresome.  Let’s just wrap The Hunger Games series and call it quits on the whole genre, yeah?

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