Timing is hugely important for any movie, and for a film franchise based on a series of YA novels, momentum can be crucial — it’s important to strike before your target audience ages out and moves on to something else. The Maze Runner
movies were forced to confront this principle in action when leading man Dylan O’Brien was injured on the set of the third installment, Maze Runner: The Death Cure
; O’Brien’s surgery and recovery led to a delay of roughly a year, and although a person’s health is obviously far more important than the commercial fortunes of a film, there’s no denying that most releases in this genre have a fairly limited shelf life, and by waiting, The Death Cure
risked seeing its window swing shut. On the other hand, its prolonged gestation doesn’t seem to have affected this chapter’s critical reception; like the prior Maze Runner
outing, 2015’s The Scorch Trials
, it’s edging up on a 50 percent Tomatometer, with reviews describing a saga-concluding adventure that proves occasionally exciting in a generally predictable fashion. For fans who’ve followed along until now and are still along for the ride, Maze Runner: The Death Cure
should prove an engaging enough conclusion — but as with any other film series approaching its end, the unconverted probably need not apply.