As a fan of the Maze Runner film franchise, it was only natural for me to practically skip my way to the movie theatre last night. The original release date had been delayed, so my anticipation had built up over the last few months as I eagerly waited for the tickets to go online. Once they did…you can bet I went nuts as I realized my preferred theatre wouldn’t be playing it. However, long story short, apparently the tickets were just kept under wraps until the last possible moment.
I watched it exactly 24 hours ago. And I’m still so shook.
(For those of you who aren’t familiar with that particular bit of slang, it means I was shocked, surprised, couldn’t believe what I was seeing…yeah, you get the point.)
The Death Cure recounts the epic finale to Thomas and his friends’ story against W.C.K.D. They journey to The Last City to save their dearest friend, Minho, whilst also combatting the evil people that want to kill them. (You know, as per usual.) Still, I have to say, after watching this third movie, I can definitely say I like it more than I liked The Hunger Games franchise.
Nonetheless, I feel like I do need to mention that I haven’t actually read the book. I read The Maze Runner, didn’t like it, so I dropped it. But I did like the other movies. So, if you’re reading this to gauge whether or not Wes Ball decided to follow the book verbatim, then I think you’re going to be sorely disappointed. I did read the summary of the novel after I saw the movie, so I can definitely tell you that some things were obviously not accurate. Some being the important word. Okay, it was more like most.
Keep in mind that I’m rating this as a movie, not an adaptation.
So, this is my non-spoilery section, using my four-category, five-point system.
Enjoyment – 5
The action begins within the first ten seconds of the theatre going dark, and honestly, it doesn’t ever stop. It was thrilling and exciting and driven, not a word I’d commonly use with just any movie. I could feel everyone intensely focused at what was transpiring onscreen, and I had the general sense of everyone understanding what was going on (assuming none of them read the book beforehand).
There were a lot of laughs, a lot of tears (happy or sad, do you think?), and definitely a lot of shocked gasps. To be frank, it was an enjoyable movie. It did its job of letting me escape for a little while, and I’m most likely going to see it again.
Quality – 4
None of the transitions were abrupt. The sound effects were good. The only thing that I had an issue with was the sort-of-but-not-quite-good acting. I mean, it was good, at least good enough to elicit the emotion it was written to evoke, but it was just…not quite. I don’t know if you understand what I mean, but let me try to explain: It wasn’t bad, no, but it wasn’t amazing either.
I was very impressed with the makeup team. I mean those Cranks were…terrifying, truly. And Lawrence (you’ll meet him in this movie) was a character straight out of my nightmares.
Necessity – 3
If you haven’t watched the other two, do not, under any circumstances, watch this movie without at least forming a bond with the characters, or you’ll be lacking in the emotional-fulfillment department. If you have watched the other movies, however, then yes I do definitely encourage you to watch this.
It is…really good. If you liked the last couple of movies, I can almost predict that you’ll like this one, too. If you’re hoping for it to be exactly like the book…take a raincheck.
General – 4
I liked it. Dare I say, I almost loved it. I’ve had a few big issues with the plot since the first movie, and as someone who respects the written word (just look at my other reviews), I didn’t like the way some of the events were portrayed.
Still, it was a really good movie. It’s a fun two hours, and I hope you won’t regret watching it if you do decide to go out and see it.
EVERYTHING BELOW THIS CONTAINS SPOILERS! READ AT YOUR OWN DISCRETION!
Yeah. Just to make sure your eyes didn’t stray to the bottom of the screen accidentally.
If you’ve read the books, or their summaries like I did, then you know that Newt and Teresa both die in this series. That’s probably the biggest spoiler there is for this movie.
However, if you did actually read the books, then I think you might be a little disappointed when you see their on-screen deaths.
Now, from what I gather, the book portrays Newt’s inevitable spiral toward death a little more gradually, and of course, Thomas is the one to kill Newt. However, in the movie, Thomas doesn’t kill Newt, and he actually almost saves him. Brenda runs to them with the cure, and we think she’s gonna make it, but Newt stabs himself in the heart as he fights Thomas in what can only be described as a heartbreaking scene. I knew it was coming, but I didn’t want it to happen like that. I wanted the original to happen. I wanted to see Thomas muster up the respect and love he has for his friend and put him out of his misery. But no, that did not happen. Instead, I got a few tense minutes between watching Brenda, Minho, and Fry run to where Thomas and Newt are waiting, and watching Crank Newt and Thomas fight heatedly.
And another thing. Teresa and Thomas form the great love story (in my head), and I’m sorry to say that, despite her total butt-kicking skills, I never warmed to Brenda. I always wanted him to end up with Teresa (yeah, yeah, that’s not the point of the story, but I’m a romantic at heart, sue me). In the movie, Teresa does die getting crushed by a wall…of sorts…and she dies saving Thomas. Thomas was shot by Ava Paige’s lackey, the one who actually shoots Ava herself, and Teresa dies when she doesn’t decide to jump onto the airplane thingy after Thomas does.
Honestly, so stupid. So, so stupid. I hated that death. I hated that Thomas and Teresa shared a passionate kiss right before she dies. I hated that it made me wish for a different ending, because that wouldn’t be right either.
And Janson. Janson. He kills Ava Paige? Really? Really? I didn’t like that. I mean, it served its purpose, but I still don’t like it.
There were tons of other differences between the book and the movie, which is where The Hunger Games actually gets more points than this franchise, but I do have to say that the book’s plot seems much more convoluted. We’re going into this movie to be entertained, not to leave questioning the motives of all the characters.
However, I do think that the movie’s ending was more…fulfilling than the book’s ending. Newt’s letter to Thomas was a beautiful, emotive finale. I cried, shamelessly. In the book, it’s revealed that Ava Paige actually planned the paradise ending, calling it Plan B. Apparently their plan was that if everything went to ****, then they would just move a ton of immunes onto a new space and have them restart. Terrrrrrrific.
No. Newt’s letter was better. I still feel like crying.
If you’ve managed to bear with me throughout that whole review, then I thank you for reading. Don’t hesitate to share your thoughts in the comments!