JANUARY 26, 2018 -- Wes Ball's final installment of the "Maze Runner" series runs nearly two and one half hours. That is both a fact and a warning. if you had mixed feelings about the first two, bring you neck pillow and seat cushion because this one is bloated.


Fresh from "American Assassin", Dylan O'Brien returns as Thomas to attempt to save his pal Minho (Ki Hong Lee) from the clutches of WCKD inc. WCKD is harvesting blood from the kids who seem immune in order to find a cure for thee plague killing all of humanity. Of course the folks at WCKD only plan on saving the wealthy and letting the rest die.

In cahoots with WCKD is Teresa (Kaya Scodelario) who previously betrayed her friends. But she and lab boss Ava Paige (Patricia Clarkson) are on the verge of a breakthrough and Minho's blood might be the answer.


Looking over their shoulders - while hunting for Thomas and his gang - is corporate thug Janson (Aidan Gillen) who wants Thomas dead at all costs... or does he? Joining Thomas is Jorge (Giancarlo Esposito) and Vince (Barry Pepper) who provide a more mature view of how to get into the last city on earth.


Rising from the dead is Gally (Will Poulter) who was killed in the first Maze Runner, but somehow back to help Thomas as an ally. The rest of the predictable plot is filled with more empty action sequences than the first two combined. Every five minutes Thomas is narrowly escaping capture or certain death, even with others sacrificing themselves to help him.


By the time you look at your watch for the fifth time, you will be wondering if you even care who gets killed or not. Why not let humanity bite the dust! Fortunately novelist James Dasher only wrote the three books.


"Maze Runner: The Death Cure" is marginally better than "Scorch Trials" and not as well developed as the first "Maze Runner". It's one saving grace is the virtual non-stop action that acts as a camouflage for the predictable plot.   -- GRADE C --   GEOFF BURTON