Maze Runner: The Death Cure appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.39:1 on this 4K UHD Disc. This became a strong visual presentation.
Sharpness always satisfied. Nary a sliver of softness interfered with the image, as it seemed concise and accurate.
No issues with jagged edges materialized, and I saw no edge haloes. In addition, the movie lacked any print flaws.
Like the first two movies, Cure favored the usual teal and orange, with a push toward sandy amber during the “Scorch” scenes. These hues lacked originality but they came across as intended.
Blacks seemed dark and dense, while shadows looked smooth and clear. I thought this turned into a pretty top-notch image.
Downconverted to Dolby TrueHD 7.1, the movie’s Dolby Atmos soundtrack fared well, as it brought us a vivid sonic impression. Of course, the film’s many action scenes worked best. With a lot of vehicles, gunfire and other mayhem, the mix used the various channels to involve us in the material.
Quieter scenes boasted a nice sense of environment as well, and music added solid stereo presence to the music. The soundscape kicked into gear often and formed a seamless package.
Audio quality followed suit, with speech that appeared concise and distinctive. Music sounded full and lush as well.
As expected, effects became the most prominent aspect of the mix, and those elements seemed accurate and dynamic, with taut low-end when appropriate. This became a satisfying soundtrack for an action film.
How did the 4K UHD compare to the Blu-ray version? The 4K’s Atmos audio showed a bit more oomph than the Blu-ray’s DTS-HD MA 7.1.
Visuals boasted a bit more precision, and the 4K’s HDR colors brought out superior range and intensity. Because the Blu-ray already looked/sounded very good, the 4K didn’t blow it away, but it offered a more appealing rendition of the film.
The 4K includes the same extras as the Blu-ray, and Cure comes with an audio commentary from director Wes Ball, producer Joe Hartwick Jr. and screenwriter TS Nowlin. All three sit together for this running, screen-specific look at story/character areas and the adaptation of the source, cast and performances, stunts and action, sets and locations, editing, music, effects and other areas.
I really liked the commentary for Scorch Trials, so I hoped the chat for Cure would work just as well. It doesn’t, but it still offers a pretty good look at the film. While it may not be a great examination of the various topics, it works well enough to merit a listen.
11 Deleted & Extended Scenes fill a total of 27 minutes, 51 seconds. These usually offer additional exposition and character development/information for secondary roles, but a few more distinctive clips appear as well – including a good action sequence in a tunnel. These are better than average excised scenes.
We can view the scenes with or without commentary from Ball, Nowlin and Hartwick. They tell us background for the sequences and why the clips didn’t make the final film. We get a nice mix of notes from the filmmakers.
Under Unlocking the Cure, we find four featurettes that run a total of 21 minutes, 34 seconds. Across these, we hear from Ball, author James Dashner, production designer Daniel T. Dorrance, and actors Dexter Darden, Giancarlo Esposito, Dylan O’Brien, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Ki Hong Lee, Kaya Scodelario, Aidan Gillen, Barry Pepper, Rosa Salazar, Will Poulter, and Patricia Clarkson.
“Cure” examines story/characters, the movie’s scope, stunts and action, cast and performances, sets and locations, and Ball’s impact on the production. With a fair amount of time at its disposal, I hoped these featurettes would add up to a good overview. Unfortunately, they tend to remain superficial and fluffy, so don’t expect much from them.
Next comes the four-minute, 33-second Going Out on Top. It includes notes from O’Brien, Darden, Brodie-Sangster, Pepper, Ball, Dorrance, Esposito, and armorer Brian Wentzel. “Top” examines the shoot of the movie’s opening, and it delivers a short but useful oveview.
Within Visual Effects, we split into two areas. Two “Breakdowns” fill a total of 16 minutes, 40 seconds and come with optional commentary from Ball. We see comparisons between raw footage and post-effects shots, all while Ball tells us about the work. This becomes a fun, valuable view of the technical elements, and Ball adds worthwhile info.
“Reels” occupies 11 minutes, 21 seconds and also includes optional commentary from Ball. It displays more before/after glimpses of the visual effects, all of which give us a nice look at the CG material.
A Gag Reel goes for 11 minutes, 38 seconds and presents the usual goofs and giggles. Four minutes of this might’ve been fun but almost 12 minutes seems like overkill.
The disc also presents two Galleries: “Wes’ Selects” (107 images) – mainly concept art - and “Storyboards” (253 across 3 sequences). Both offer good material, though “Selects” tends to be more interesting.
The set includes a Blu-ray copy of Cure. It provides the same extras as the 4K.
After an exciting opening, I hoped Maze Runner: The Death Cure would deliver a thrilling conclusion to the trilogy. Alas, it soon becomes a slow piece of melodrama, flaws that an action-packed ending only partly redeems. The 4K UHD boasts excellent picture and audio as well as a largely positive package of supplements. Franchise fans will likely enjoy Cure, but I think it becomes a less than satisfying finish to the series.
To rate this film visit the prior review of MAZE RUNNER: THE DEATH CURE