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Escape Room: Tournament of Champions | Review

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Ever since escape rooms became a big hit in real life and people couldn’t get enough of being locked in a room, having to solve puzzles to escape, it was only a matter of time before screenwriters took the idea and turned it into a horror film. And that’s exactly what happened. Over the past few years there have been a great number of films titles Escape Room or revolving around the idea of an escape room with a dark and deadly twist to it. But only the 2019 film Escape Room directed by Adam Robitel received a sequel in the form of Escape Room: Tournament of Champions.

Don’t worry if you can’t remember which film called Escape Room this is a sequel to because the film opens with a recap of the events of the first film, almost like you’re watching the “previously on..” section at the beginning of a TV show. The film sees Zoey (Taylor Russell) and Ben (Logan Miller) who narrowly survived the escape room in the previous film and now they’re out to bring justice to the evil corporation known as Minos and put a stop to their dastardly murders.

The two arrive in New York City and are unexpectedly trapped in a subway carriage with four other people and much like the previous film, they must escape from a series of complicated and deadly escape rooms or face death. The twist this time around, as the title suggest, is that all of the people trapped in the room are the winners of previous escape rooms and this is now a tournament of champions.

The set-up feels much more contrived this time around and the whole thing really verges into the realm of being incredibly far-fetched and unbelievable, far more than the first film ever did. But if you’re willing to go with it Escape Room: Tournament of Champions is an absolute blast of a time and even better than the first film.

In the words of one of the film’s characters “We play the game, or we die”. It’s as simple as that. And if you’re happy to go along with it, Tournament of Champions is a gripping rollercoaster thriller ride that doesn’t stop until the very end when the credits start to roll.

Whilst not as gory as the Saw franchise, the Escape Room films definitely take inspiration from the former with each of the different rooms having some deadly twist to them. But whereas in Saw you watch the traps for the bloody murders, in Escape Room, you’re entertained by all the deadly rooms because of the intelligent ways the characters discover to escape. You hold your breath as the clock counts down to their imminent death, on the edge of your seat, hoping they solve the puzzle to escape the room.

The rooms feel more intricate and the puzzles harder to solve this time around but that only makes it even more tense. The whole film is packed full of suspense as you don’t know who’s going to live and who’s going to die. Escape Room: Tournament of Champions is a heart-racing thrill ride that manages to up the thrills, the suspense and the intensity of all the rooms.

However, much like the first film, it does go a little off the rails as we approach the film’s denouement, and the writers try to tie everything together. The ending does make it feel a bit too cheesy and does put a bit of a damper on the rest of the film, but because of how thrilling the rest of the film is, you can just about get passed that.

Escape Room: Tournament of Champions is a thoroughly engaging and thrilling film that will have you engrossed and entertained right up until the very end and if you’re willing to look past the film’s incredibly contrived and far-fetched plot, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t have a great time with this film.

★★★★☆

Escape Room: Tournament of Champions is released in cinemas on Friday 16th July.

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