Maze Runner: The Death Cure Parent Guide
The Death Cure offers characters with uncertain motives, and it is these shades of grey that make the plot the most interesting.
Parent Movie Review
The Death Cure is the final edition of Maze Runner franchise. Based on a trilogy of novels by James Dashnerby, the producers of these adaptations wisely chose to present this last story in one single film—instead of the popular idea of splitting the last tale into two (like The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 and Part 2). Perhaps the fate of Divergent, another teen-dystopian-book-to-movie-series, had an influence on this decision.
Divided into logical story segments, the first Maze Runner began when Thomas (Dylan O’Brien) was mysteriously deposited, with a slew of other teens, into a huge stone-walled maze. They escaped at the end of movie one, only to discover there was a virus infecting the world. In The Scorch Trials, the group learned the “bad guys” were working for an organization called WCKD, which was attempting to harvest vaccines from the few immune humans. At the end of movie two, the original crew hides out in the hills with a rebel organization called the Right Arm, until their whereabouts is revealed to WCKD by turncoat Teresa (Kaya Scodelario). Apparently, she didn’t believe the organization’s unfortunate acronym represented its true intent.
In movie three we are hoping to discover if Teresa’s decision was in the best interest of her friends.
Most of the cast returns in this concluding chapter, which opens with a well-directed train scene involving fast moving four-by-four trucks and a futuristic flying machine. Thomas, Newt (Thomas Brodie-Sangster) and Frypan (Dexter Darden), along with Brenda (Rosa Salazar), Jorge (Giancarlo Esposito) and Vince (Barry Pepper), attempt to highjack a stock-car full of disease-immune prisoners, including Minho (Ki Hong Lee), that is on a one-way track to the WCKD laboratory. Unfortunately, the rescue doesn’t work out as planned, but the adrenaline rush does set the pace for the action to come.
Still determined to find Minho, Thomas ignores the advice of the Right Arm leaders and sets out for WCKD’s headquarters with Newt and Frypan in tow. The ensuing mission provides multiple opportunities for violent encounters with Cranks (zombie-like humans who have been infected with the Flare virus), oppressed citizens, calculating scientists, determined law enforcers and selfish society elites, as well as with some former friends and enemies.
Not only must Thomas and crew face the obvious problems, they must also ascertain who is wicked and who is good. And it’s these shades of grey that make the plot the most interesting. Despite not understanding a thing about brand marketing, the World Catastrophe Killzone Department’s desire to find a vaccination to save the masses seems laudable. Further to this, Teresa seems like a nice girl and we wonder if her intentions really are evil… er… wicked. Does the calm demeanor of the organization’s head scientist, Ava Paige (Patricia Clarkson) mean she can’t be trusted? Surely headmaster Janson’s (Aidan Gillen) permanent grumpy face is a dead giveaway.
Parents should know that while traditional guns still exist in this depiction of the future (we see numerous people shot with blood effects), other popular weapons use Taser-like techniques that leave characters writhing on the floor with electrical arcs roving their bodies. A couple of scenes portray characters being forced into medical procedures that amount to mental and physical torture. Some old monsters are reintroduced. And, of course, the ghoulish makeup and highly aggressive nature of the Cranks makes them very frightening. Other content includes roughly two-dozen profanities, scatological expletives, a crude finger gesture and terms of deity. (At least with all the mayhem, there’s no time for sexual diversions.)
Clocking in at nearly two and a half hours, The Death Cure‘s biggest aliment is failing to build deep empathy and interest for these persistent and otherwise well intended young people. Best suited for older teens and adults, by the time we’ve worked through what feels like three conclusions, this maze has more than run its course.Directed by Wes Ball. Starring Dylan O'Brien, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Kaya Scodelario. Running time: 142 minutes. Theatrical release January 26, 2018. Updated February 8, 2018
Maze Runner: The Death Cure
Rating & Content Info
Why is Maze Runner: The Death Cure rated PG-13? Maze Runner: The Death Cure is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action, language, and some thematic elements.
Violence: Violent confrontations are depicted throughout the movie, including fistfights, punching, beating, choking, falling from heights, vehicle chases, weapons use (guns, knives, grenades, etc.) and explosions. These depictions are detailed and often feature blood effects. Deaths are implied and shown. Corpses are seen. Property destruction occurs. Characters are in constant peril. Zombie-like humans and spider-like monsters are shown: These frightening creatures attempt to attack and kill others. Other ghoulish-looking characters are portrayed. Characters are physically and emotionally tortured. Medical procedures, injuries and wounds are shown with some detail and blood. Authority figures are often the enemy. Trust is betrayed.
Sexual Content: Characters infrequently embrace and kiss. Romantic feelings are mentioned.
Profanity: A sexual finger gesture is seen. Scatological slang, mild profanity, and slurs are used frequently. Moderate profanity and terms of deity are used infrequently.
Alcohol / Drug Use: A character drinks alcohol for solace.Frequent scenes show the use of medical and experimental drugs being administered.
Page last updated February 8, 2018
More parents' guide for Maze Runner: The Death Cure after the break...
Maze Runner: The Death Cure Parents' Guide
Thomas and Teresa have different opinions about how to save the world. Thomas is determined to rescue as many individuals as he can. Teresa want to save mankind, even though that means sacrificing certain individuals. Who do you agree with? Is it better to put the needs of the many ahead of the needs of a few? How important is the survival of each person?
Ava Paige (Patricia Clarkson) observes that humans will do anything if they are squeezed hard enough. How has the desire to survive “squeezed” the populous? What things have the achieved? What things have the sacrificed? What behaviors have they justified? What would you do in such extreme circumstances?
What kinds of characters are shown as disposable in this movie? How are the zombies treated? The poor? Those with immunity to the disease? Which characters put their own needs above those of others? Do you feel any of these groups are justified?