Once ‘Escape Room’ starts moving it does NOT stop. Faster paced and driven by characters that, in my opinion, don’t need more characterization than being “survivors” as delivered in the premise, it may be a shame to not learn more about why to root for the leads, but everyone is on-board and trying to use their brains. This leads to a few welcome twists and turns that draw the larger scale back to the more intimate relationships developed in the first outing.
I haven’t seen a more “episodic” opening in a long time. This movie really expects you to have not watched the original. It also falls into a trope that transcends cliché in the first ten minutes when a character wakes up from a nightmare that seemed to push the story forward. In fact, most scenes in the opening seem aimed at inviting the audience to question whether what they’re watching is real or a trauma-induced nightmare.
“So that makes this what, tournament of champions?” This is a line that was either a horrible inclusion or there’s someone behind the scenes who was careless in developing a title.
In The End:
“Escape Room: Tournament of Champions” is a ride made for a dark theater and loud, bass heavy speakers. I’m happy to be comparing something favorably to “Saw,” and if this series continues, I hope they might redirect to build more care in the audience for the characters, but continue to explore imaginative puzzles, maybe even straying into flavors of adventure.