The essence of “The Maze Runner” folds into the idea of isolationism against all odds. What the trilogy and this part in particular points to is that only through sacrifice and loss can the true battles be won. Thomas may be the savior that possibly has the cure but it is those who ultimately push their lives to the breaking point that really shine. Thomas Brodie Sangster brings a soulfulness to Newt that even in dark moments seems to shine through. While melodrama does have possibility here, it is sometimes in lingering too long on a scene instead of simply letting it be. Rosa Salazar, former indie film darling, who takes on the mantle of “Alita: Battle Angel” next summer, plays in the background here but it is her unrequited love and allegiance for Thomas that shines through. Dylan O’Brien, like many Batman types before him, has to keep the plot flowing which is inextrictably linked to Teresa (Kaya Scodelario). While the path to absolution is not an easy one, the inclusion of certain break and run sequences while interesting in terms of action interplay adds little. The opening train rescue though keys in the best of Old Western with the new Fast & Furious mentality. Ultimately an ending for the saga, the epilogue speaks well to the reasoning of the trajectory though ultimately the balance of what it means to escape from The Glade is lost. Thomas is supposedly the Chosen One but is it just by fate or sheer will.
By Tim Wassberg