Escape Room: Tournament of Champions (2021) Movie Review

Escape Room Tournament of Champions – Bigger, Bolder Sequel

 

Director: Adam Robitel

Writer: Will Honley, Maria Melnik, Daniel touch, Oren Uziel (Screenplay) Christine Lavaf, Fritz Bohm (Story)

Starring: Taylor Russell, Logan Miller, Deborah Ann Woll, Thomas Cocquerel, Holland Roden, Indya Moore, Carlito Olivero

Plot: 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.

Runtime: 1 Hour 28 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Escape Room Tournament of Champions starts as Zoey (Russell) and Ben (Miller) are looking to uncover the truth about Minos the company behind the game they survived, forcing them to travel to New York city for where they believe the main base is.

When the pair find themselves on a subway train, they learn they have been trapped back into the game with Nathan (Cocquerel), Rachel (Roden), Brianna (Moore) and Theo (Olivero) four other winners of the game, where they need to work together to escape another deadly game.

Thoughts on Escape Room Tournament of Champions

Characters & Performances – Zoey is still struggling with her fear of flying after her mother’s death, which has led her down her obsession with exposing the truth about Minos, she has her process when solving the rooms, clearly showing her higher intelligence and her social awkwardness. Taylor Russell continues to be the highlight of this universe, she completely sells us on the idea that she is an innocent victim (which Zoey is) fighting a battle she knows he needs to win, but can’t. Ben is wiling to help Zoey, even if he feels the battles are hopeless, he is still suffering nightmares of the events in the first film. Logan Miller does work well in this role, he is starting to make us forget about what he did in Love Simon, (sometimes a role will make you hate an actor). Nathan, Rachel, Brianna and Theo have all survived previous games, putting them back into the game will give us a fresh set of players that have been through the previous encounters with Minos.

StoryThe story here follows six previous winners of Escape Rooms that are thrown back into another game, one which is deadlier than before, one Zoey Davis is trying to collect evidence to expose the mysterious company behind them. This is a story that might well play out like the previous film, with the different rooms to navigate, which are different and deadly like before, only it will led us down the same bigger problem with how people could survive all the games, but there clearly wasn’t room for them all to survive. We do get the hits of what has happened in previous escape rooms with the character, which will play on your mind and offer up the bigger picture continuing to grow. This is where the film shines, with the world building, it just keeps us wanting to know more, even if I would love to see a certain type of character added to the universe.

ThemesEscape Room Tournament of Champions is a horror thriller following on from the previous film Escape Room, we get the deadly rooms, which are all masterly designed to take us into a host of different environments, each with something different that could be deadly, with the scariest thing about what is going on, is the fact it takes place in the middle of New York city.

Final ThoughtsEscape Room Tournament of Champions is a great addition to the horror world, with the continuing world building and excellent escape room designs.

The Free World (2016) Movie Review

Director: Jason Lew

Writer: Jason Lew (Screenplay)

Starring: Elisabeth Moss, Boyd Holbrook, Octavia Spencer, Sung Kang, Frederick Weller, Austin Amelio

Plot: A recently released former convict becomes involved with a married woman with an abusive husband.


Tagline – Only love can truly set us free.

Runtime: 1 Hour 40 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: The Free World starts as Mohamed Lundy (Holbrook) a convict released from prison, working in an animal shelter, always wanting to give them the best care he can. When Doris Lamb (Moss) and her husband bring an injured dog to the shelter, he tries everything he can to help it, only for it to pass away.

Mohamed discovers Doris in the shelter, looking to hide, learning she has killer her abusive husband, the police are still tracking Mohamed, believing he is trouble being back on the streets, with him needing to find a peace in this world.

Thoughts on The Free World

ThoughtsThe Free World follows the life of an ex-con who is trying to put his life back together without getting much help from the police on the outside, always looking to catch him out. He helps a woman in need, which only leads to him putting the spotlight on them, putting all his hard work on the line. This is a drama that does show us just how much people will looks to help others in need, no matter how difficult it might end up being for them, in a world that doesn’t want to give them hope. The performances in the film are great with Moss and Holbrook showing all their skills throughout the film, with a strong supporting cast to back them up.

Final Thoughts The Free World is a strong look at doing the right thing, even if you have to risk even more to do so.

ABC Film Challenge – Comedy – P – The King of Staten Island (2020) Movie Review

This is under P because of Pete Davidson.

Director: Judd Apatow

Writer: Judd Apatow, Pete Davidson, Dave Sirus (Screenplay)

Starring: Pete Davidson, Bel Powley, Ricky Velez, Lou Wilson, Moises Arias, Carly Aquilino, Marisa Tomei

Plot: Scott has been a case of arrested development since his firefighter dad died. He spends his days smoking weed and dreaming of being a tattoo artist until events force him to grapple with his grief and take his first steps forward in life.

Runtime: 2 Hours 16 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: The King of Staten Island starts as we slacker stoner Scott Carlin (Davidson) who is about to see his little sister head off the college, leaving him alone with his mother Margie (Tomei). Scott has no direction in life, wanting to be a tattoo artist but lacking the focus for it.

When Margie starts dating again, Scott is forced to help being babysitter, with his busboy role, with them encouraging him to move out of the house and make Staten Island important again.

Thoughts on The King of Staten Island

Characters & Performances – Scott Carlin in a stoner slacker who has never recovered from his father’s death, he spends most days just getting high having no focus towards his goals of being a tattoo artist. He must learn to find a target in life who risk fading away and losing the people he loves. He does go on a journey to learn about himself once he finally gets a father figure in life. Pete Davidson does give us a strong performance for a stand up, one that is closer to his heart. Margie is the mother that has been shielding Scott for a long time, but has given up her own personal life to make this happen, she wants to try and have her own life now. Ray is the new boyfriend that clashes with Scott to start with, but soon learns he is just after direction, knowing his father did the same job as him. The performances in the film are strong throughout, with Pete Davidson getting the main spotlight.

StoryThe story here follows a young man that is struggling to find his direction in life after his father’s death when he was younger, but now he must finally take the chance to figure out what he wants before he loses everything he loves. This is a story that will give us a chance to see how a character must look to improve themselves to improve their lives, it will have a personal message from Pete Davidson along the way. One of the issues you will find in the film, is not knowing what makes Staten Island different, from the rest of New York, it seems to be part of a joke that I didn’t understand.

ThemesThe King of Staten Island is a comedy that shows the character Scott that is struggling with life, with moments of comedy to help find his direction in life. The location relies on us knowing about Staten Island to New York City.

Final Thoughts The King of Staten Island is a nice comedy drama that is filled with a personal message from the star.