“Escape Room: Tournament of Champions” – Movie Review

Given the immense success of 2019’s Escape Room (grossing $155 million on a $9 million budget), a sequel was always inevitable, and now it’s arrived in the form of Escape Room: Tournament of Champions.  And while it features an absolutely amazing and creative production design like its predecessor, plot-wise however it just sort of feels like the same movie again…with a twist!

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The rooms are pretty cool at least…

(Spoiler Free)

Back in the Fire
Opening with a very detailed montage of the first film that makes it so you don’t even have to watch the whole movie first, Escape Room: Tournament of Champions picks up with Zoey and Ben following their survival.

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Zoey’s definitely more of an active protagonist this time.

To the movie’s credit, it does a decent job of showing how both characters struggle with flashbacks, nightmares, and PTSD from the trauma of the first movie.  Despite everything, or perhaps in spite of everything, Zoey is determined to bring down Minos and expose them for what they are.

Their investigation takes them to an abandoned building in Manhattan.  This leads them into a subway car that detaches from the rest and the games begins once again.  The other players also reveal that they are previous survivors and what follows is the titular Tournament of Champions, as all of these previous winners have to survive once more.

More of the Same
The primary issue with Tournament of Champions is that it essentially gives us the same movie again.  Granted, the rooms are pretty cool, particularly the beach and bank ones, however it doesn’t really try anything new or different.  Most sequels are inevitable cash grabs, but that doesn’t mean it has to do the exact same thing as the first movie.

Given the montage at the beginning, you honestly don’t even need to see the first one and could just watch this one on its own.

The characters are decent, but as they describe their own ordeals of survival, we can’t help but with we had gotten those movies instead.  For example, one such character is a priest whose “game” involved only priests, and the angle was to see if faith played a role in survival.  That alone would have made a really interesting spinoff.

Given how much the emphasis Zoey put on trying to uncover the mystery of the Minos organization, it’s all the more frustrating to see that storyline essentially go nowhere.  The movie also attempts a twist that’s way too forced and is obvious from a mile away (especially for anyone who remembers the ending of the first movie).

Once again ending on a cliffhanger, we can assume there will be a third installment (as long as this one is financially successful) and hopefully these questions and plotlines will be taken further than they were here.

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It boasts cool designs, but that’s about it.

If you’re just a fan of the creativity of the escape rooms themselves, you’ll enjoy this as much as the first (because it’s essentially the same movie but with new rooms).   However, if you’re hoping for the conspiracy plot to go anywhere, you might want to escape from this one…

What did you think of the Escape Room: Tournament of Champions?  Which room do you think you could survive??  Let us know in the comments!

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