Dylan O’Brien, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Giancarlo Esposito, Dexter Darden and Rosa Salazar star in 'Maze Runner: The Death Cure'. Picture: Supplied

The final instalment in the 'Maze Runner' series delivers a cliché-filled spectacle with little substance and very little payoff. 

Rating: 2,5/5

'Maze Runner: The Death Cure' kicks off with our heroes in a heated train chase, in an effort to save their captured friend Minho (Ki Hong Lee) in the transport to The Last City. 

This opening sequence is actually very thrilling and the best action sequence in the whole franchise. Unfortunately, the rest of movie falls flat with regard to character development, screenplay and proper exposition. 

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I watched both the 'Maze Runner' and 'Maze Runner: The Scorch Trial' the night before and, throughout the series, the way the writer decided to adopt certain aspects on the book has hurt the series as a whole. 

A small thing such as character motivation also doesn’t make sense throughout. It, further, seems as though the 'Maze Runner' is the male answer to the female-driven Hunger Games series. For example, the forced love story between Thomas (Dylan O’Brien) and Teresa (Kaya Scodelario) doesn’t make sense since we are never given a flashback of them before their entry into the maze. 

What would have made more sense would be to make Minho and Thomas the love interest, since Thomas has an extreme urge to save Minho from WCKD. It really comes across that Thomas’s interest is more than just friendship. To be honest, they are a better-looking couple too. However, this movie is marketed for teenage boys, who, in the eyes of movie executives, will not be able to identify with a bisexual protagonist. As if queer teens don’t exist and if you don’t have a hero that is a cisgender heterosexual man in an action adventure film, it will fail. 

The exclusion of any queer men in the first film also was strange because there were 40-plus teenage boys in the maze and all of them were presented as straight identifying.

 The screenplay also doesn’t give the actors anything to work with. It’s filled with clichés, the jokes never land and most of the characters are onedimensional. While Aidan Gillen is a brilliant actor, his portrayal of the antagonist Jansen seems like a futuristic version of Lord Petyr Baelish, with an American accent. Certain plot points also don’t make sense, such as the maze programme as a whole. 

The 'Maze Runner: The Death Cure' was shot in Cape Town and while many other movies have been filmed in the Mother City, it’s usually not noticeable. However, as someone who lives in Cape Town, I was taken out of the film when I saw the Portside building with the sign still visible, the CTICC building and the MyCiti Civic Centre station, with the civic centre signage still on the door. 

While this film is not horrible, it’s not good either. The screenwriters should have taken more liberties with their adaptation and really thought through some of the plot points. They then would have had a stronger set of films.