Reviewed by: Charity Bishop
What is DEATH? and WHY does it exist? Answer in the Bible
What is the FINAL JUDGMENT? and WHAT do you need to know about it? Answer
What is ETERNAL LIFE? Answer
What is ETERNAL DEATH? Answer
Dylan O'Brien … Thomas—main protagonist
Barry Pepper … Vince—leader of The Right Arm resistanceWalton Goggins … Lawrence—Vince’s assistant
Aidan Gillen … Janson (Rat Man)—Assistant Director of WCKD and main antagonist
Patricia Clarkson … Ava Paige—the Chancellor of WCKD
Rosa Salazar … Brenda
Thomas Brodie-Sangster … Newt
Kaya Scodelario … Teresa
Katherine McNamara … Sonya
Nathalie Emmanuel … Harriet
Giancarlo Esposito … Jorge
Ki Hong Lee … Minho—immune friend
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|Director:||Wes Ball—“The Maze Runner” (2014), “Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials” (2015)|
Patrick B. O'Brien
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Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
“Every maze has an end”
Action-packed from start to finish, the finale in “The Maze Runner” series explores themes of loss, heroism, and sacrifice.
Since a lethal virus that zombifies people swept through Earth, all hope for humanity’s survival lies in the “immunes,” a generation of kids resistant to the disease. Since their escape from the maze, Thomas (Dylan O’Brien) has become the unofficial leader of the small band of refugees, and hatches a brilliant but dangerous plan to rescue their friend Minho (Ki Hong Lee) from the clutches of the villainous Janson (Aidan Gillen). But when his plan takes an unexpected turn, Thomas must tack on an even bigger challenge: an assault on the primary lab, inside a walled city, and flooded with guards.
His former love interest, Teresa (Kaya Scodelario), now works inside the lab, attempting to find a cure, although her superior, Ava Paige (Patricia Clarkson) loses hope as the virus spreads. When Thomas, Newt (Thomas Brodie-Sangster), and Frypan (Dexster Darden) arrive outside the city, they stumble upon an old adversary who believes he can get them into the city… but can they trust him and rescue their friends, or will Janson find them?
“The Maze Runner” is either your cup of dystopian tea or it isn’t, but for me, each installment has grown stronger in action scenes, character dynamics, emotional impact, and plot twists. I felt “meh” at the first film, but found this one tremendous fun. It has many unique and spectacular scenes (one involves a bus and a crane, and the final twenty minutes are pure adrenaline-and-emotion-packed action) with never a dull moment; it deviated from the source material a long time ago, but held my interest all the way through its two-and-a-half hour run.
This time we go deeper into the motives of the villains, which helps flesh them out across the franchise, but the story raises interesting questions for the audience to speculate on—in survival, scientific experimentation, the willingness to sacrifice a few for the many, and forgiveness. As with most dystopian series, it provides a bleak and godless vision of the future but brings even small acts of heroism to the forefront. Thomas is a solid, admirable hero, who “leaves no one behind,” even when a more “logical” Brenda (Rosa Salazar) tells him he should. He fights for his friends to the last and lays down his life for them. His leadership and compassion set a moral standard that inspires others to similar acts of greatness, and contrast with the self-preserving Janson. The film allows us to understand the motives behind the abuses of the children, but never condones it.
In this bleak world, violence often explodes across the screen, in scenes of mass gunfire and destruction; young adult characters load up on ammo and mow down dozens of guards and zombies alike; Janson orders his guards to open fire on a crowd, picking people off in a hailstorm of bullets; a fight turns brutal as two men beat one another half-senseless, throw each other through walls, and shoot each other; several people are shot at close range; a man throws a woman across the room and smashed her unconscious by rebounding her head off a desk. Ravenous, half-decomposed (missing limbs, nose-less, their faces deformed and eyes white) zombies attack people; several of them fall upon a man and eat him alive (we hear him screaming). Massive explosions decimate a city and implode buildings, causing fires to engulf people.
S-words fly, along with two uses of God’s name alongside a profanity and several abuses of Jesus’ name.
From a Christian perspective, this franchise is one of the less problematic young adult film trilogies, because it celebrates heroism while condemning cowardice, its heroes are all about self-sacrifice and redemption, and it avoids too much skin and has no implications of premarital sex, but its grotesque imagery, brutality, harrowing themes of abuse in the name of science (using children as ‘blood’ factories) and salty language are not advised for younger audiences.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. —Philippians 4:8
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.