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Maze Runner: The Death Cure by John Paesano (Review)

posted Feb 23, 2018, 11:42 AM by Leo Mayr

The Maze Runner films are a mystery to me. On paper, there's one story that is told throughout the films, yet every film is about as different from the rest as possible, right down to the colour scheme. Luckily, director Wes Ball was able to make all three, and with him, John Paesano was able to score the entire trilogy. Despite sharing main themes, each score has a unique sound and feel to it, further making the films stand apart while at the same time, tying them together. The third and final chapter brings the franchise to a fantastic conclusion, with Paesano showing off some of his finest work to date.

Throughout the series, Paesano has proven himself more than capable of creating intense and exciting action, while also balancing just the right amount of emotional weight to get you invested in the story and characters. Once again, the action music is louder and more intense than in the previous films, as the series reaches its grand finale. After a stunning opening sequence that really lets the main theme introduced in part 1 shine for the first time, the film returns to a slower pace to focus on exposition, and while Paesano does an admirable job at breathing life into a somewhat foreseeable story, few moments actually stand out. The first half of the movie is spent on setup, so there's little excitement to be found in the music.
Once things start to get moving in "Let's Go", however, the movie picks up the pace and doesn't really stop until the very end. The lengthy infiltration scene in particular is possibly the franchise's best action sequence, and some of the most intense music found in the film. "Crank Lab" again showcases Paesano's ability to handle tension and bursts of action for a stunning final confrontation.

The emotional side of things is where the score truly shines. "I'm Sorry" and "Goodbye" are fantastic pieces to end the series on, but "Please Tommy, Please" just steals the show. Everything about this scene is executed flawlessly, from acting and editing to Paesano's heartbreaking score. The main theme is deeply integrated into the music, so you'll have a hard time getting it out of your head and it beautifully reappears during the film's final moments, tying the whole franchise together.

The Death Cure is not a flawless film, but it is far better than the finale of a young adult series has any right to be. The first half feels a bit slow, but once things start moving, there's little room for breathing, in large part thanks to John Paesano's fantastic score. Everything, from the intense action to the more emotional moments is wonderfully enhanced by the score, and there are more than a few moments well worth revisiting time and time again.