“Don’t you want to know why this all happened?”
The Maze Runner is one of those series that failed to hold as much interest as, say, The Hunger Games or Divergent. It made money at the box office and received mixed-to-positive reviews so far. Yet, in the midst of a ton of YA adaptations crowding cinemagoers’ minds at the time, its lasting power has remained minimal. All his despite being a perfectly entertaining duology, now set to complete in trilogy form: starting with the new trailer for Maze Runner: The Death Cure.
The Death Cure sees Thomas (Dylan O’Brien) and his remaining crew of Gladers breaking into the legendary Last City to face another deadly maze. That’s physical and metaphorical: their new destination happens to be a complicated labyrinthine base of operations, while they also work to figure out just why they were trapped in a maze in the first place. The tenets of every YA action adventure film will most likely be met — gunshots and a showdown atop a train feature in the trailer already — and hard choices will have to be made. The apocalypse is always an “all or nothing” situation. Thomas’ crew fights against the clock to save their friends and hopefully the world.
The trailer does its own recap of the prior two films to resituate audiences — The Death Cure is set for a 2018 release, over two years since The Scorch Trials premiered. Original shoot dates had to be postponed after an automotive accident left O’Brien out of commission for several months. But aside from that, it definitely serves as a reminder of the tone of a series that was easily lost in the YA craze. The Maze Runner films have not been known to be particularly forthcoming with their narratives. Reviewers have called the first two films vague and underwhelming in their lack of focus. Arguably though, there was still a refreshing quality to them in their treatment of the post-apocalypse, at least the first film. The second movie isn’t even particularly unentertaining, but it really needs a last chapter to tie up the numerous loose threads it left hanging.
Coming so late in the game of YA adaptations may even prove fruitful. There isn’t really any competition on a franchise level that hits the same demographic these days. This rather inadvertently adds to a kind of nostalgia but also kicks in right before a film like Chaos Walking may bring about a revival of sorts.
Whatever the case may be, The Death Cure comes as a much-welcomed and anticipated final chapter, and will hopefully send The Maze Runner out with a bang. The film is scheduled to premiere January 26, 2018.