Escape Room: Tournament Of Champions – Slickly Produced But Seriously Stupid

Published by
Clifford Ossai

Zoey (Taylor Russell) plans on exposing evil organisation Minos with fellow survivor Ben (Logan Miller) after surviving her deadly escape room ordeal. They travel to New York to break into Minos HQ, only to become trapped in another game with former escapees.

Escape Room: Tournament Of Champions – Slickly Produced But Seriously Stupid

In an age when users are fleeing the confines of high-tech confined spaces, Escape Room: Tournament Of Champions is a fit for the zeitgeist: puzzles or not, being locked in a room with strangers is currently the least desirable thing. The film is in itself flashy and diverting for the duration of its 88-minute runtime, but ultimately it is a brainteaser with very little intelligence.

Zoey (Taylor Russell) and Ben (Logan Miller) survived a series of death-infused escape rooms set up by the shadowy cabal Minos, where the super-rich bet on players and watch the action as sport. It continues to sound a lot like Hunger Games in Tournament Of Champions, where the two are paired again, this time with the same ‘All Stars’ setup as The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. In an effort to expose Minos’ twisted games, they soon find themselves fighting for their lives again against a spirited but poorly drawn selection of other survivors: travel blogger Brianna (Pose’s Indya Moore), nerve-damaged Rachel (Holland Roden), fallen priest Nathan (Thomas Cocquerel), and tough guy Theo (Carlito Olivero).

As expected from Adam Robitel, it’s a pulpy setting, with moments of bold visual flair (a dream sequence of walls closing in on the viewer). I can’t get over how ridiculous everything is, how the characters apply daffy logic to find answers to the labyrinthine clues and beat the clock on every game. Whether it’s an electrified subway car or a beach of sinking sand, the lavish death-chambers are both ludicrously lavish and disappointingly simple. In a laser-strewn bank (one wrong step and you’re toast!) almost makes me think of a murder-filled episode of The Crystal Maze. It wouldn’t be any funnier with some extra gags from Richard Ayoade.

In addition to bloodless PG-13 execution, cheesy dialogue, and a lacklustre script (“So what are we doing here? It was the worst line from a movie title since that Will Smith Suicide Squad moment). In an attempt to illustrate the escape room experience, Tournament Of Champions has all the yelling and little of the satisfaction of the experience, as it mostly consists of panicked screeching as time runs out.