January 29, 2018
This is a *mostly* spoiler-free review of Maze Runner: The Death Cure in 4DX format. This isn’t designed to a be a review of the movie as much is it’s a review of the 4DX experience for this movie.
Maze Runner: The Death Cure is the action-packed finale to the post-apocalyptic film franchise based on the young adult book series. 4DX shines best in science fiction films like Ghost in the Shell and Blade Runner, but Maze Runner seems to keep 4DX on a short leash, causing the film to shine but not the in-theater experience.
The opening sequence showed promise. The strobe lights used to accentuate the title reveal were a unique use of the effect but one that worked well. The strobe lights were used in other unique ways a few other times during the film.
With the film set in the desert and abandoned locales, it’s no surprise the fans were used for large amounts of the film. Numerous fight scenes used the air cannons, but their use in nearly every fight scene seemed to lessen the impact of their use. The same with the rumble effects in the seat. Of course, the seat themselves were strong in their use throughout the film. With everything from a bus to a train to dune buggies featured in the film, this is a great movie for the motion seats.
Without giving too much away, there was one scene where a bit of a surprise happens on screen. It was paired perfectly with the leg ticklers. Like the strobe lights at the beginning of the film, the use of the leg ticklers in this scene isn’t the typical use of this effect but was more than successful in its use here. One or two quick splashes of water did little more than remind viewers that the effect existed.
That, unfortunately, covers almost every single effect used in the nearly two-and-half-hour long movie. I noticed no scents, no snoap, no rain effects, no smoke, and the film was in 2D. Personally, I do prefer 2D for 4DX films but only because the 3D glasses get covered with the snoap and water. Without those effects having the film in 2D seems cheap. I understand that the film hasn’t been released in 3D, but that should mean the 4DX programmers have even more freedom in using effects like rain and snoap.
Even during action scenes where the screen was filled with smoke, the theater had none. Unlike other actions scenes that used snoap for more than just snow effects (like in Blade Runner 2049 where it was used to replicate thick smog particles) here, the effects just sat unused.
The effects used were timed perfectly and used in original ways, but with some few effects, the ones used felt old by Hour Two of the film. I see no reason why this film should pull those debating between seeing it in 4DX and DBox (which just has the motion seats) or even a traditional 2D screening. Wind effects and air cannons can only carry the experience for so long, and here they failed to carry it all the way to the final credits.
Overall, The Death Cure left many unanswered questions, but the one I have the most is why so many 4DX effects sat unused.
- Use of 4DX Effects- 1 out of 4
- Movie Overall- 2 out of 4
Also check out my 4DX review of Coco