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Escape Room 2 review: Gripping games and clever clues

·Lifestyle Editor
·3-min read
In this article:
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Length: 1 hour 28 minutes
Director: Adam Robitel
Cast: Taylor Russell, Logan Miller, Indya Moore, Holland Roden

In theatres from 16 September 2021 (Singapore)

3.5 out of 5 stars

Escape rooms have been entertaining puzzle lovers around the world in the last decade since they were invented in Japan and rapidly spread throughout Asia, America and Europe. I've played many escape rooms myself because I have a friend who loves them and is always getting us to go play them. The games have become popular enough that Hollywood has made not one, but two movies centred on the idea of people defeating escape rooms in real life.

Holland Roden stars in Escape Room 2: Tournament Of Champions. (Still: Sony Pictures)
Holland Roden stars in Escape Room 2: Tournament Of Champions. (Still: Sony Pictures)

Escape Room 2, subtitled Tournament Of Champions, brings back another group of six players for a new round of deadly games, this time comprising survivors who managed to beat previous iterations of the game. The original film's survivors Zoey (Taylor Russell) and Ben (Logan Miller) attempt to expose Minos, the company that built the escape rooms that they broke out of. However, Minos traps them in another series of rooms that they have to solve their way out of – or die trying.

The puzzles and clues in the games are genuinely clever and creative, and it's nail-bitingly fun and satisfying to watch the hapless players work together to beat the various escape rooms before they're killed by booby traps. In real life, of course, escape rooms don't literally kill you. Here, however, things like lasers and quicksand are waiting to punish them with gruesome deaths. The cast is decidedly non-A-list, which makes the movie more gripping because you do feel that none of them are safe from death. 

Taylor Russell, Logan Miller, Indya Moore, Holland Roden star in Escape Room 2: Tournament Of Champions. (Photo: Sony Pictures)
Taylor Russell, Logan Miller, Indya Moore, Holland Roden star in Escape Room 2: Tournament Of Champions. (Photo: Sony Pictures)

The concept requires a certain suspension of disbelief and the story isn't the greatest, though it's engaging enough – but with such a high-concept movie premise, you're here for the thrills, not emotional complexity. And the movie definitely delivers in that regard.

There are a total of five escape rooms that characters have to solve in the movie, which roughly translates to one room every 15 minutes. Pretty good value for money, I'd say. However, the Blu-Ray extended edition of Escape Room 2 has just been released (the movie began screening in theatres internationally as early as July this year), and according to people who have watched it, the story is significantly different and there are, in fact, a couple more escape rooms. This is quite an unusual choice by director Adam Robitel because extended editions, while adding additional footage to films, usually don't change the story all that much. If you'd rather watch the extended edition, you might want to hold out on watching the theatrical release version just yet.

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