Escape Room: Tournament of Champions

Escape Room: Tournament of Champions

Courtesy of Sony Pictures

Taylor Russell and Logan Miller are back for more escape room horror in this follow-up to 2019’s Escape Room.

The film essentially picks up where its predecessor left off – After surviving a series of harrowing, deadly escape rooms designed by the evil Minos Corporation, Zoey (Russell) and Ben (Miller) go to New York to take down Minos and serve up justice for the people who died in their game. However, the corporation is always one step ahead and they once again find themselves trapped in another series of life and death escape rooms, although this time they are joined by fellow Minos survivors – Brianna (Indya Moore), Rachel (Holland Roden), Nathan (Thomas Cocquerel) and Theo (Carlito Olivero).

Adam Robitel, who returns to direct the sequel, has managed to come up with another set of inventive and clever rooms, traps, riddles, puzzles and clues that even an experienced escape room fan might struggle to crack. There is barely any repetition from the previous films and the production design of the different sets is incredible – the Minos Corporation really spares no expense with their games!

It was thrilling watching the team work together to find out the next steps to escape the room and witnessing what they have to do in each new set (can you tell I’ve never done one?!) and Robitel effectively builds the tension and suspense as time starts to run out. It’s a gripping watch, but the stakes don’t feel very high because you know that Zoey and Ben will make it.

Given that the escape rooms are the setpieces of this movie, it’s no surprise that there isn’t much in the way of character development or depth because for the majority of the film, they’re simply fighting for survival, exchanging clues and panicking about how little time is left on the clock. They are some welcome mini-breaks in between where our characters get to talk more about themselves and taking down Minos, but then it’s onto the next one. Some viewers might find this monotonous but each room is so different that it kept my interest. However, I do think the franchise will run out of steam soon and they shouldn’t do anymore (although there’s clearly a third happening).

Russell is a warm, kind and likeable presence and she is very brave and determined to beat Minos, whereas Miller’s Ben is more reluctant and scared. They have strong support from the newcomers, particularly Roden as the strong-willed Rachel and Moore as the nervous Brianna, even if the characters are thinly written.

And don’t worry if you haven’t seen the first one, this essentially does like a “previously on” recap at the start so you should pick it up, no problem.

It’s not exactly an amazing movie, but Escape Room: Tournament of Champions makes for a thrilling and enjoyable cinema trip.

In cinemas from Friday 16th July

Rating: 3 out of 5.

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