Director Wes Ball doesn't hold back in this overlong finale to the Maze Runner trilogy 

The final part of the Maze Runner trilogy certainly starts well. Thomas (Rob Lowe lookalike Dylan O’Brien) and Newt (Malcolm McDowell lookalike Thomas Brodie-Sangster) engage in a spot of Butch and Sundance meets Mad Max as they pull off a daring train heist and rescue a bunch of kids destined to be guinea pigs at the hands of the evil WCKD corporation.

Watch our interview with Dylan O’Brien and Thomas Brodie-Sangster

It’s a whizz-bang opener that promises much but director Wes Ball could be guilty of overloading his movie with just too much of everything - exposition, action and hardware. After battling their way through that infernal maze in the first movie and then conquering the scorch trials in the second, our gang of teen rebels and existential mall rats (with great hair) must now take on the WCKD regime on their home turf - a shining citadel known as the Last City.

Fans of the dystopian franchise may find a satisfying conclusion to the YA trilogy among the rubble but boy, the actual acting is very poor. O’Brien as determined rebel leader Thomas is as wooden as ever and Kaya Scodelario, as turncoat rebel Teresa, nearly overdoes him in that regard. Rosa Salazar as the sparky Brenda is very good and as usual, Brodie-Sangster, so good in Wolf Hall and Death of a Superhero, is the best thing here.

Watch our interview with director Wes Ball

The more experienced actors don’t fare too well. Patricia Clarkson does bring some gravitas to proceedings, Walter Goggins is underused as the leader of the Untermenschen left to fester outside the city walls, and Aidan Gillen does his usual routine of pursed lips and smirks as pantomime villain Janson.  

Bromance blooms in the ruins and there is an eye-popping sequence involving a bus-borne escape but it all becomes a rather dull and overlong cacophony of endless showdowns, last minute rescues and, well, explosions. I’ve never wanted a eugenical, post-apocalyptic totalitarian regime to crush a brigade of teen rebels so much in my life.

Alan Corr @corralan