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Maze Runner: The Death Cure review: "It's hardly fresh, but the spectacle is decent"

GamesRadar+ Verdict

It’s hardly fresh, but the spectacle is decent and the relationship dynamics absorb just enough to fill the lengthy run time.

“This is a long way from the Glade,” says teen hero Newt (Thomas Brodie-Sangster) to Thomas (Dylan O’Brien), Brenda (Rosa Salazar) and their ragtag pals while staring at the walled city they must infiltrate in order to rescue pal Minho (Ki Hong Lee) and bring down WICKED, the corporation who experimented on them like lab rats.

Yes, it is a long way, and unfortunately this YA franchise has become less interesting and more formulaic with each instalment as it’s opened out from its contained, high-concept beginnings.

Still, this trilogy closer (thankfully James Dashner’s book has not been split in two) is solid enough, opening with a rip-roaring train heist straight out of a western – albeit with an armed chopper hovering above – and climaxing with all-out war raged on the last city standing in the scorched, post-apocalyptic landscape.

In between, there are run-ins with virus-infected Cranks and a quick dream sequence to plonk us back into the original’s maze with a biomechanical Griever in hot, slobbery pursuit.

The dramatic beats and themes of loyalty, sacrifice and blessed vs. dispossessed are familiar, but Aidan Gillen, Patricia Clarkson and Barry Pepper return to add gravitas, and are joined, though all-too briefly, by a pustule-faced, noseless Walton Goggins.

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Jamie Graham

Jamie Graham is the Editor-at-Large of Total Film magazine. You'll likely find them around these parts reviewing the biggest films on the planet and speaking to some of the biggest stars in the business – that's just what Jamie does. Jamie has also written for outlets like SFX and the Sunday Times Culture, and appeared on podcasts exploring the wondrous worlds of occult and horror.