'Escape Room: Tournament of Champions' Delivers Where It Counts

Directed by Adam Robitel

Starring Taylor Russell, Logan Miller, Thomas Cocquerel, Holland Roden, Indya Moore

BY Caillou PettisPublished Jul 22, 2021

The beauty of Adam Robitel's Escape Room: Tournament of Champions is that it barely wastes any time getting right down to the nitty-gritty. The filmmaker understands that, if you're watching this sequel, chances are you've seen the first outing and were a fan of it — so even though this the followup has an incredibly short runtime, the director utilizes every minute to its full potential.

Despite getting down to business quickly, the first act is a chore to get through, as it consists of tedious flashbacks to the previous film, just in case you forgot what happened. Characters are re-introduced and we are reminded once again that the villainous Minos corporation is still functional and still has dangerous escape rooms stationed throughout the country.

Lead protagonists Zoey Davis (Taylor Russell) and Ben Miller (Logan Miller) venture out to New York City where Minos's headquarters are located, and it's here where the movie picks up steam and wastes no time in presenting us with a new batch of highly impressive set pieces. If you thought the set pieces were exciting the first time around, you haven't seen anything yet. Tournament of Champions has a wide variety of rooms for our characters to explore, each one more deadly than the last.

The film is chock-full of wonderful tension that genuinely never lets up until the credits roll. Once the gears start turning, there is never a scene where we get to breathe, making the film a great exercise in tension. Its script, however, can certainly be lacking. The returning players don't get much development, and even some of the new faces feel shoe-horned in.

But let's be real: you probably aren't going to see Escape Room: Tournament of Champions because you want a masterful story. You probably just want to see a group of people desperately try to claw their way out of deadly rooms, and thankfully, this sequel delivers quite well with that promise.

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