Escape Room:
Tournament of Champions
                            review by Bobby Blakey

In 2019 Insidious: The Last Key director Adam Robitel took the similar approach that the SAW franchise mastered and took audiences inside the Escape Room. After its success and clear set up for a bigger story he is back once again for the next chapter Escape Room: Tournament of Champions featuring the return of Taylor Russell and Logan Miller from the original film along with Thomas Cocquerel, Holland Roden, Indya Moore, and Carlito Olivero. Could this latest set of rooms bring more engaging puzzles of life or death or will it not be worth escaping from at all?

Escape Room: Tournament of Champions follows six people who unwittingly find themselves locked in another series of escape rooms, slowly uncovering what they have in common to survive…and discovering they’ve all played the game before.

I thought the first film was a lot of fun, but you do have to suspend belief on some level to the direction they go with the rooms. This is part of the necessity of this franchise as you have to be willing to buy into it all and I do just for the creative fun of it all. Sure there is a thin story involved until the twist ending that sets up the bigger universe for this sequel, but I was looking forward to more.

This next one is more of the same and takes it to an even bigger scale forcing you to once again buy into it all before anything will work. They surprisingly kicked the film off with a recap of the first film before diving into where we are now. There are elements that are intended to be one thing, but are pretty easy to tell that they are feeding into the bigger picture. The ongoing obsession with both Russell and Miller from the first film kind of falls flat and not near as impactful as I was hoping. Instead it really just serves as an excuse to get them back into the game. This is fine as the only reason I have fun with these films anyway is the creative execution to the rooms themselves and this film doesn’t disappoint.

You never really get a chance to get invested into any of these characters including the leads, but they serve their purpose well enough to get it moving. Where the first film was big with the escape rooms used this one goes to unrealistic levels of execution. Thankfully you get a bit more depth into the behind the scenes to kind of make it work better, but in the end the fun still hinges on you just buying into it which I do just to have a blast.

You will either like these movies or not. If you dug the first then you will get more of the same this time around as you would want as well as a good cap should it be the last film. If you hated the original then you will want to avoid this one and will already most likely do that anyway. I cannot lie, my guilty pleasure love of these kinds of films takes over and I had a good time here and would enjoy more of these crazy rooms, but if not these both serve as a good continuous arc complete with some fun twists.

In addition to the film this film releases bonus content including featurettes and both theatrical and extended editions of the film. Step into the game and grab your copy of Escape Room: Tournament of Champions available now on digital, Blu-ray and DVD from Sony. 

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