Escape Room: Tournament of Champions

I had not intended to go to this movie, but I decided to go to it today anyway. I’m glad I did.

Escape Room: Tournament of Champions is the continuing sequel to the 2019 low budget horror hit Escape Room, picking up a few weeks after the events of the first film. The sole survivors from the last film, Taylor Russell, playing Zoey Davis and Logan Miller, playing Ben Miller, return and are trying to move on with their lives. Unfortunately, Zoe is having a difficult time doing that.

Since law enforcement is not believing their story of events, Zoey convinces Ben to head to New York to go after Minos, the evil company behind the escape rooms so they could bring them to justice.

Once in the city, they find their way trapped in a subway train with a group of other people who were also survivors of previous escape rooms by Minos. The group tries to work together to be able to escape the escape room with their lives still intact.

Let me start off with this. The movie is dumb. Yes, it is improbable. The escape rooms are fairly impossible to pull off, even for a multi-billion dollar corporation. But here is the undeniable fact. I had fun watching the characters attempt to survive the encounters.

Taylor Russell is a star. I think she is just beautiful and I enjoy her as the brains behind the survivors and the main protagonist that Minos seems to be after. I kept thinking that she could be a great actress for the MCU (Kitty Pryde, perhaps?). She made it easy to support the characters. I think the chemistry and relatability with Zoey and Ben is off the charts. Logan Miller is another actor here who I would love to see more of in the future.

Some of the other characters that were brought in for the sequel were very one dimensional, but I did enjoy Rachel (Holland Roden) who I found engagingly sassy and a nice addition to the group. I could have used more for the actors Indya Moore and Thomas Cocquerel, who had some basic flavor but were meant as sacrifices to the concept. Although, Cocquerel’s character Nathan did pull off a Dread Pirate Roberts from The Princess Bride save, so there was that (No one would surrender to the Dread Pirate Nathan!)

The escape rooms themselves are the major stars of the franchise and these are all pretty good, building suspense as clocks ticked down to the doomsday part of the room. Sure it is improbable, but F9 sent a car into space. You suspend disbelief that there are possible and hope for the heroes to escape.

There were a couple of ending twists that did not hit well, the second one especially. The first surprise was interesting, though hard to accept because of the timeline. Still, I like that they are trying.

I had some laughs. I was nervous for the characters. I tried to find the answers to the puzzles before the characters did. I had a good time. Dumb, yes, but dumb fun for sure.

3.3 stars

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