I was pleasantly surprised by this movie! The Scorch Trials wasn't an amazing film and they'd seemed to stray pretty far from what happened in the books but they've pulled it back with this final instalment. I can't completely remember what happened in the books but The Death Cure was fairly faithful and I really enjoyed it.
There was plenty of action and it was a generally fast-paced movie. I will say that there were some things that went unexplained but it didn't spoil my overall enjoyment.
SPOILERS AHEAD- SPOILERS AHEAD- SPOILERS AHEAD- SPOILERS AHEAD- SPOILERS AHEAD
This movie started really well. The beginning train sequence was brilliant and impressed me straight away. It added a nice disappointment when they didn't get the right train car with Minho inside and really caught us up on what happened in the last movie (it's been a while). As expected, Thomas, Newt and Frypan immediately go of to find Minho and we're set off on our adventure to take down WCKD. This all happened really fast and it started the momentum of the film nicely.
Soon on their journey, they go through a pitch black tunnel and you just know they'll get attacked by cranks... it's basically a complete film convention surrounding creepy tunnels. And, surprise surprise, they get attacked by cranks. When the first one came on screen, I jumped out of my seat so bad, it's embarrassing. But, conveniently enough, Brenda and Jorge show up just in time to save them! What a lucky coincidence! And I second Jorge's sentiments- 'I'm surprised you lasted a day.'
We cut over to WCKD and what they're doing. We instantly see Minho and how badly he's being tortured. It was pretty clear from the start he was hallucinating when he was 'in' the Glade again but it was intense to watch everything WCKD was putting him through. He finishes with a Griever chasing him and it's a nice nod to the first movie and just highlights how far our characters have come from the simple times in the Glade.
We're then graced with the presence of Teresa and... I like her, okay? Don't go crazy but I love Teresa! I completely understand her decisions from the last movie and I appreciate why she 'betrayed' the others. She's decided that she wants to sacrifice the few to save the many and that's exactly where my train of thought would go as well. While everyone else is Team Brenda, I whole-heartedly stay on Team Teresa- books and movie. Though, I hate Brenda in the books but think she's okay in the movie... so, there's that.
Teresa has a conversation with Ava Paige about the progression of their research and my Media Studies geek came out of me because I was sat there, in the cinema, in complete awe at the beautiful symbolism of a single shot. The shot was of Teresa and Ava walking away from the camera and their clothing colour choices were so interesting. Ava was completely in white, showing her firm belief that she's innocent and pure and doing the right thing. There's no doubt in her mind that she's the hero in all of this. Teresa however, is in an array of blacks and browns. This just shows how conflicted she feels and how uncertain she is over her actions. It shows her anxiety, her doubts and how conflicted she's feeling. This contrast with them standing next to each other was beautiful- especially as they were walking away from the camera towards the future with these feelings weighing on their shoulders. Media appreciation over.
We switch back to our main characters as they finally reach the Last City. They quickly find trouble because... they're fictional characters and attract trouble for the sole purpose of keeping the plot interesting. As soon as they got taken by the guys in masks, I knew it was Gally. I had been wondering whether they'd include Gally's storyline from the books and I'm pleased they did- even if Gally's character took a weird turn. In the first movie he was the villain of sorts- an enemy to the protagonist and he was also very harsh and selfish. Cut to this movie and he's suddenly become the comedic relief! Whenever everyone laughed in the cinema, it was because of Gally and that didn't always sit well with me... it was just a strange twist to his character.
Thomas and the others set off on a journey into the Last City to retrieve Teresa and get her to help with Minho's escape. They managed to achieve this pretty quickly and easily which I think this was simply done because of screen time but it did make the whole thing balance on luck a bit too much.
They took Teresa back to their base and got her to take the chips out of their necks. She sees that Brenda's still alive and begins to suspect that Thomas' blood is the cure. Being the sneaky, resourceful and clever woman she is, she manages to sneak a patch of his blood when they take her back to the Last City and she begins to run some tests to see how it fully cured Brenda.
We find out that Newt is infected but, as I've read the book, I was already expecting that so I was mentally and emotionally preparing myself for this plot.
The strange mask people subplot was a little poor and unexplained because I think they were purely a plot device to create some more tension and... cool CGI explosions.
Newt goes full crank and attacks Thomas which, admittedly, was heart-wrenching but I didn't exactly cry. I was expecting this and I don't think they built it up to extent they could've. And I also didn't particularly like that Newt was the one to kill himself... it was a lot more heart-breaking when Thomas had to shoot him in the book.
Meanwhile, we had the rest of our group rescuing the other immune kids from WCKD and this was such an awesome sequence- arguably my favourite! Brenda was saving all the kids by getting them into the bus and it turned into such an intense action sequence. They nearly got killed and Brenda so brilliantly shot the flare up into the sky so that Frypan could literally pull them out of them to safety from a helicopter. The visuals were absolutely amazing and watching them fall to the ground and just about live through the ordeal was a lot of fun. I will also give a nod of appreciation to the comedy added when the bus made it's final collapse- the sign changing to 'Not in Service.' Well done.
Teresa finds out that Thomas' blood is the cure and... this part annoyed me. The movie was going so well and suddenly conforms to all the current tropes and clichés we have in every single movie! It was all so random and unexplained... why was it randomly and conveniently Thomas' blood that was the cure? Why is he the special one? Oh, because he's the protagonist. That's literally the only reason as to why he's all special and everyone's saviour. It wouldn't be as hard-hitting if it was revealed that Frypan's blood was the cure, would it?
After finding this out, Thomas does the heroic and selfless thing and hands himself in to Ava in order to save people- likely because Newt's death gave him perspective on everything. But Janson shoots Ava before she can get Thomas to safety and he takes Thomas so that he can use the cure to save himself. I can't particularly remember if this happened in the book but... we'll go with, anyway.
Teresa comes through in the end- because that wasn't predictable- and helps Thomas escape and they set the cranks on Janson to get him out the way.
The building's getting blown up and destroyed but we still have just enough time to have an angsty kiss between Thomas and Teresa which was very satisfying to me because I ship them so much even though it seems like everyone else hates them together.
Jorge comes in with the berg to save them and Teresa helps get a wounded Thomas to safety first. The building comes down before Teresa can get to safety herself and falls to her death. Honestly, I was closer to crying over Teresa's death than Newt's which may be controversial but I loved her character.
Thomas wakes up in the safe haven which was exactly what happened in the book and they begin to start up a new civilisation away from the fallen everyday world. They create a nice stone where they carve all the names of everyone who died into it which was a nice touch to remember everyone that had fallen on their way to find peace.
We finish the movie with a voice over from Newt as Thomas is reading a letter he left, having suspected that he'd die before ever getting to the safe haven. The film finished with a shot of Thomas debating whether to throw the last vial of the cure into the ocean but cut to black before showing his decision which I thought was a little vague and lazy on the writer's part but left a little space for interpretation, I suppose.
Overall, this movie was a beautiful production with some really nice and intense use of editing at crucial points and an solid story arc that rounded off the series nicely.
Thanks for reading! Feel free to comment your thoughts and stay amazing!