Dystopian teen franchises can be a dime a dozen.
But the Maze Runner trilogy is top of the line, the cream of the crop.
Maze Runner: The Death Cure is the final instalment in the trilogy and – thankfully and uncommonly – it is just one film, it’s not split into two lacklustre final entries.
Where the second film, The Scorch Trials, picked up immediately after the events of the first, Death Cure takes place months after the last film.
It sees Thomas (Dylan O’Brien) and the core group desperately trying to free their captured friend Minho from the clutches of evil organisation WCKD.
If you haven’t seen the first two films in a while, it’s going to be a bit of a struggle to remember where things left off and how everyone relates to one another.
That’s the biggest drawback of the movie – it is supremely lacking in exposition.
But the action is so good it’s pretty easy to forgive.
Some sequences in the movie are so brilliantly constructed and directed that they wouldn’t be out of place in a James Bond film.
Dylan O’Brien is once again fantastic in the leading role, and Hollywood better take notice and give him more challenging, serious roles to sink his teeth into (more Deepwater Horizon, less American Assassin).
Despite the fact that his character pretty much consists of running places fast and being concerned about his friends, O’Brien still commands the screen and delivers a powerful performance.
The supporting crew is solid, with Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Kaya Scodelario, Rosa Salazar, Aidan Gillen and Giancarlo Esposito being the stand-outs.
Death Cure provides a satisfying end to a fast-paced teen series that is better than it has any right to be.
While it doesn’t have the stunning visuals of the second film (that long shot on the sand dunes is a hard sight to beat) or the exposition of the first, it still delivers with emotion, deftly handling several important deaths.
For the most enjoyable viewing experience, fans should give themselves a recap of the first two instalments so they’re fully up-to-date when they hit the cinema.
For once, we have a teen series that doesn’t leave you disappointed.