Escape Game 2 – the world is a trap: the critic knows the way out
The first Escape Game of the name is proof that literally adapting the concept in fashion can be enough to win the jackpot. A cliffhanger, two years and $155 million in revenue (more than 15 times the stake!) Then, a sequel titled France Escape Game 2 – the world is a trap landed on our screens, still with Taylor Russell and Logan Miller in the lead roles.
If American horror cinema often loses its identity when it arrives in France, it’s rare for a title to go wrong like Escape Game 2. Titled Escape Room: Tournament of Champions across the Atlantic, it becomes the World is a trap with us. Thanks to this subtle sleight of hand, the local marketing team is sure to play on different sets that follow each other in the feature film to give the impression of an expanding universe.
Except that it doesn’t. Like the original title, this sequel locks several survivors of a deadly escape game created by the evil Minos company, including the Zoey/Ben duo, into a new maze. It’s really kind of a super finale, as reality TV (Cuckoo Koh-Lanta) favors it, a tournament that therefore always takes place behind closed doors, and not in the four corners of the planet.
And that’s a shame, especially since the first minutes seem to play up the survivors’ paranoia. If someone is able to turn any room into a deadly game, how can we be sure they’re not trapping us anywhere? An interesting suspense engine, awkwardly exploited by the writers (motel sequence) before being completely dodged by the start of the second half, and a return to the classic formula. Quickly, the film left some of its original tracks to take refuge in its comfortable print.
Therefore, the psychotic theme is diluted in various plot twists, without updating the concept. Therefore, the defenders of the first works will probably find their responsibilities there. And Colombia too. Because this mini mode model (still the third film designed on the same principle) is above all economical. By conforming to this ready-made structure, the company is enclosed in studios that don’t even have to make too much, minimizing investment and maximizing profits.
CUT WITHOUT CONFIDENCE
Because of this, Escape Game 2 copied its predecessor’s code to letters, some of its qualities and its many flaws. Sets are fun at times, though nothing goes beyond the upside-down bar, consistency for absent-minded customers and often superhuman characters. But above all, once again, the feeling of progress inherent in the activity from which it is inspired never shines, a staging error that struggles to bypass the discovery of clues in excess. The player sees various objects along with the audience, leaving no room for dramatic irony.
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Without looking back, we help solve puzzles we don’t know the state of, without even having time to appreciate the subtleties of the trap. Always stingy in bloody slips or even in very clever traps, the sequences follow and are similar to each other, without involving us too much, because we are rejected way ahead of the protagonist. All that has to be done is the false clues that have ended the first feature film in the fireworks of stupidity, the more there are, the easier to anticipate, but also the dumber.
At a line break, the character calmly explains to us that not everything that happens off-screen isn’t necessarily valid, half admitting the fakeness of the scenario. It’s an open door to all drifts, and this sequel is a lot of fun. Preparations for payout burned 18 kilometers, impossible illusions and an avalanche of delirious twists were on the program for the last half hour in freewheeling, plunging back into paranoia … to do anything with it.
Now that he admits to breaking some of the logical conventions that still govern his universe, Escape Game 2 can reveal to anyone who wants to hear it, his saga ambitions. As long as he also draws the world in theater, he can embark on a quest to deconstruct plausible ideas after Saw, minus the hilarious mutilations.