Make no mistake: Escape Room: Tournament of Champions may be fun, it’s also incredibly stupid. The premise makes no sense. The mechanics make no sense. The plot makes no sense. Look elsewhere for storytelling sanity. Look here if you want to see confident, creepy absurdity, with a ghoulish imagination and showmanship to spare.
Escape Room: Tournament of Champions is a pastiche of its predecessors, using this mosaic of tropes and formula familiarity as a shorthand to keep the film pared down to the basics of what exactly makes it tick: increasingly sadistic puzzles and a great cast of characters.
As a pure dilemma-fest, the movie basically works, resetting the clock scene by scene, making the joy of survival deliberately short-lived. The suspense works. Watching these people figure things out, just in the nick of time — except in the cases of the people who run out of time — doesn’t really get old, even if the movie somehow gets a little old.
Part of the problem is that since everything is at so incessant a fever pitch, suspense flattens rather than builds, and we don’t care much about characters who spend nearly all their time yelling instructions at each other.
The best thing about the Escape Room film series is that it gives audience members clear directions in the title about what they should immediately do: Escape. Room. Get out of that theater and go see Black Widow instead. Run for your lives — and sanity!
The first Escape Room film was an out of left field surprise when I caught it in theaters, one of the better original PG-13 thriller of recent years, and, initially, it's ending teaser for a sequel bummed me out. I'm glad to report the follow up, ESCAPE ROOM: TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS, is a fun distraction for an afternoon that is a elevated by it's wacky escape room ideas. The acting on display is of quality performances for the B-movie that it is, and the writing isn't fantastic but nothing to complain about. All in all, I enjoyed this one about as much as the last one, and, honestly, will definitely be watching the third one, though I admit it was taxing it's milage with this second one.
Escape Room: Tournament of Champions is significantly better than its predecessor, but still struggles with a weak script and uninteresting characters. I found the rooms to be much more interesting and well thought out this time around, and I found myself pretty engaged and on the edge of my seat at times. Very entertaining and easy to sit through, but nothing special or at all memorable.
Tournament of Champions is unbelievably dumb, lathered in hazardous plot holes and is bereft of any intelligence whatsoever. Tournament of Champions just so happens to also be a hugely entertaining romp, pumped full of intense popcorn thrills with a lavish glossy look to boot.