Six people unwittingly find themselves locked in another series of escape rooms, slowly uncovering what they have in common to survive. Joining forces with two of the original survivors, the... Read allSix people unwittingly find themselves locked in another series of escape rooms, slowly uncovering what they have in common to survive. Joining forces with two of the original survivors, they soon discover they've all played the game before.Six people unwittingly find themselves locked in another series of escape rooms, slowly uncovering what they have in common to survive. Joining forces with two of the original survivors, they soon discover they've all played the game before.
Good Pace/Short Time:
- Sequels sometimes lose their steam and pacing, getting lost in trying to introduce the new pieces and quips to the world. Not the case for Escape Room 2, as the movie opens with little delay and dives back into Minos' nefarious plans from the first film. Our group gets jammed right into the traps and keeps the excitement of life or death going with little hesitation. It's a rough ride of traps and deciphering the mystery as our heroes try to beat the evil corporation making their lives into sport. In a way, this short time does add an element of thrills, and keeps the movie exciting from start to near finish.
The Main Character:
- If you are like me, one of the biggest selling points was the woman who led the charge in the last Escape room antics Zoey. And once again, the girl has got some props that I enjoyed watching once more. That same heart, charisma, and brain power is loaded back into the mix and still just as endearing and fun to watch. The actress Taylor Russell brings that performance back in spades and makes her character just as believable as before, if not a little more melodramatic in this installment. Still, it's nice to see her same characteristics being built upon, but still keeping those familiar and strong characteristics in check.
The Balance Of Characters:
- If you've read my reviews, you know how I find the importance of including a character means utilizing the character well. And sure enough, this movie accomplished the champions quite well given the circumstances. Like the first movie, I felt good involvement with each of the players, only this time with the stakes known, it allowed for better chemistry and expertise solving the harder puzzles. I liked seeing the personalities clash, the specialties come together, and the relationships foster, all while giving a little touch to help add some levels to the performances. Again the acting was well done by all members, hitting the stereotypes and then tearing those will down a little as they hit their mark.
The twist was a nice surprise and something I did not expect given the direction of the movie. Much like the first movie, there is a connection between each room and Zoey's attempt to decipher the mystery is part of the alluring component once again. When that revelation comes to fruition though, I give them props for the surprise coming out of nowhere and how they utilized it into the story, helping make some connections to the past that help with the story element of the movie. I can't say more without spoiling so moving on.
- By far the best point for me on this movie is whoever plans the rooms for them to play in. Once more the planner of the games had a massive clever streak going, bringing strategy, teamwork, and deadliness the games hold in their seemingly pristine, high definition, settings. The Tournament of Champions ups the stakes and really brings convoluted puzzles, using riddles, hidden clues and attention to detail to help coordinate. That fast paced timing works super well to increase the intensity, and I loved seeing the character quirks come out as fears, limitations, and strengths to help elevate the games to the next level. Championship levels really do go far, with so many clues and pieces to figure out the next part of the puzzle, impressing me with again how things lined up very well. Sure a bit abstract, and some suspense of disbelief of how quickly they solved the puzzles. Still, the continued baiting of the traps and the intensity of how many will make it through to the next room, is certainly the strongest piece that had me leaning forward in my seat waiting to see if predictability would be broken.
- While certainly good, the movie's fast pace also sort of shreds some of the others things I loved about the first installment. The first film had much more dive into character psyche, prowess, and tested those elements to help extend the story past the gimmicks of traps and help you attach onto the characters a bit more. While the faster tone does indeed amp up the suspense moments of those rooms... I do wish that they had either extended the total run time or injected more character components into the mix to really give us more of the champions who had survived hell.
The Sound Level:
- With sensitive ears like mine, the special effects are a bit too loud for me for this film. I had to cover my ears during many of the louder traps and when that happens it adds a little annoying factor for me during the review.
A few more traps needed, or more time in the traps:
- I mentioned it earlier, but the movie's traps are again the selling point of the film and in the first film I loved those intense bouts of being in those intense rooms, pushed against the wire and desperately searching for clues despite the fears before them. This time though, the rushed pace in most of the rooms kind of lost that level of depth I loved in the film, the character driven moments that forced the characters to step up or reveal the vulnerabilities to help push the team forward. Oh sure, there were a few moments that succeeded primarily with the character Nate, but most of the deeper moments became a bit cheesy for me and not quite as tight as the first installment. In addition, some more time spent in the rooms could have allowed for more time for our characters to bond and expand their dynamics to the point of again seeing if these new dynamics would last or protect them from the impending doom.
- All weakness mentioned the worst part of the movie is the last 20-25 minutes where the movie's rules and logic suddenly crumbled. For one thing, the twist that came sort of establishes a new set of rules that does take part of the edge off knowing what the writers can potentially do. Second, all the qualities I mentioned I liked about Zoey and her cohorts suddenly seems undone as the movie tries to close this chapter and potentially prepare another one. The wariness, the attention to detail, and the logic all seem to just get zapped away, in some forced attempt to promote some level of closure, the writers and directors tried to do their best to mislead you, but it only resulted in eye rolling, over the top, corny moments that completely feel different to the movie I had been watching prior to it. Perhaps something can help correct course in movie three, but come on.
The second round of escaping rooms still has plenty of heart and thrills that made me fall in love with the installment the first time. A fine leading actress/character leads this new top of the line cohorts in some of the most intense brain busting puzzles I've seen, and it all works at a fast pace to keep you in line with the most dangerous game. Escape Room 2 does still accomplish fashioning characters who are deeper than an MTV special, and seeing the talents come together a little more was another plus to this film. However, the very nature of the fast pace may have also robbed the movie of some of the elements I liked in the first one, primary the compelling relationships we got in the first set of games. The interconnectivity, and using history to fashion growth was missing in this film, and I felt a few character moments could have been put to good use if truth be told. Throw in a little hidden political agenda and the worse components of the ending and you've got a little buffering that toned down the quality of the film. Still, overall I had fun with this film and feel it can be enjoyed in the theater or at home to a similar degree.
My scores are:
Action/Adventure/Horror: 7.5 Movie Overall: 6.0.
- Jul 16, 2021