Escape Room: Tournament of Champions – Hit or Miss?

Can the long-awaited sequel live up to the success of its predecessor?


An upside down bar, nerve toxin, and a room with its walls closing in. If you’ve watched Escape Room (2019), what I mentioned will be a familiar sight to you. Essentially a T-rated modern interpretation of the famous Saw, Escape Room follows 6 people from wildly different backgrounds as they attempt “the world’s most difficult escape room”. 


The film was an international success – grossing over 150 million dollars from a budget of just 9 million – and now, Adam Robitel is back with fresh new puzzles and more exciting T-rated action for the summer of 2021. Logan Miller and Taylor Russell reprise their roles as protagonists Ben and Joy – forced into yet another deadly and electrifying set of rooms.

In an interview with UNILAD, Robitel admits that it’s a tough task to satisfy the expectations of fans – and an even tougher one to outdo the first movie, not having access to many of the options other movies in the same genre utilize: “‘When we got into development in the second one, I was like… we’ve used fire, gravity, ice, gas. There’s literally no other way to kill people. So that was the hard part. It’s PG-13, I can’t put a reverse bear-trap on somebody’s face. The list of visual threats that are cinematic that also kill you is very small.’”


Unfortunately, it seems like the team behind Escape Room: Tournament of Champions weren’t able to accomplish their goal. Reviews from film journalists that had access to prescreens of the movie are mediocre at best. Graeme Tuckett from Stuff NZ calls it “more of the same” but with less gruesomeness. Brian Ondorf from gives a scathing review – describing the movie as having “horrid screenwriting” that “ignores any sense of closure to keep the money train going for the third installment.” However, it’s not all doom and gloom – Peter Gray from the AU Review does point out the positives; excellent acting, great production value, and a very likeable lineup of characters.

Still, at the end of the day, reviews from the press are simply just that – reviews from a select few people. The best way to decide for yourself is to head to a theatre, grab some popcorn and watch it for yourself: Escape Room: Tournament of Champions is out in NZ theatres – check the date for your country via