Maze Runner:  The Death Cure

 

            This is the third and final installment, based on the book series by James Dashner.  It helps if you've seen the first two, but if you haven't, you can still catch up easily.

            Sometime in a not-too-distant dystopian future, everything's broken down.  A huge virus has made killer zombies out of everyone except those behind the walled city, and there it's just a fascist police state, trying desperately to keep out the destroyers.  While they try to figure out why a small handful of people seem to be immune to the dreaded plague.

            Meanwhile, there's a small band of the “immune” people who are trying to free the rest of the immunes from captivity by the fascists, who want to run extreme experiments to try to find the magic “life serum” that will inoculate them.  It's the band of immunes that are our young, intrepid heroes.

            They begin by attacking a train with a couple of ATVs (well, in times of chaos, you have to improvise).  There's just a hint of romance within the group, but mostly they're too busy trying to go up against the evil Empire while staying away from the killer zombies.  So we have chase scenes, fight scenes, crash scenes, more daring rescues, and just to spice things up a little, hints of betrayal from within.

            Intentional or not, there are strong religious overtones.  The launch point is an abandoned cathedral, complete with a small altar with candles featuring a portrait of Madonna and child.  The hero, Thomas (Dylan O' Brien) has it within him to save everyone, but he seems to devote most of his attention to his own little band of followers.  The evil is always lurking out there, but somehow Thomas is always able to elude their clutches.  At the end, he leads them past the destruction of the evil ones, along with all the bad guys, and takes them to Paradise:  depicted as a small, thriving, peaceful community by the seashore, where they sit around the fire at night and sing Kum-Bah-Yah.  (Well, maybe without the singing.)  And, like the title says, they're cured from death.

            The PG-13 rating is from the little bit of slang, and a lot of violence, sometimes even to the good guys, who are all young, intelligent, good-looking, brave, and resourceful, and no doubt all their children will all be above average.

 

Dr. Ronald P. Salfen, DFW Film Critics Association