What is the movie about? :: Six people from different background, unrelated and unknown to each other are given puzzle cubes which they are supposed to open. The names include Zoey Davis (Taylor Russell), a Physics student who is an expert in her subject, and can’t stop talking about it even when she is not at the college, much to the dismay of the fun loving room mate who rarely understands anything that she says related to science and technology. Another name on the list is Ben Miller (Logan Miller) who is responsible for replenishing the stock at a shop, someone who is an introvert and has almost zero friends. Meanwhile, Amanda Harper (Deborah Ann Woll) is an Iraq war veteran, traumatised from her experiences there, but a perfect lady soldier who thinks she can go through anything. Jason Walker (Jay Ellis) is a stock trader who spends his time thinking about how to please his clients and make money. Mike Nolan (Tyler Labine) is a poor truck driver who wishes to earn some quick money.
So, what happens with the events here? :: The last one in the group is someone who is a gamer mad about the idea of escape rooms. Danny Khan (Nik Dodani), a man of South Asian descent, has gone through such experiences before and is excited to be part of this particular escape room game, which would provide the winners with ten thousand dollars, an amount which none of the group members would leave behind. They go to a floor at the top of the building and await further instructions from the game master. When Ben tries to open the door, the door knob falls off, seemingly showing that the game had already begin. They start looking for clues to escape from there, but the discovery of one clue only leads to the heat in the room to rise, and now they have to escape the place before they are fried alive in the first challenge itself. But this won’t be the toughest of their challenges, as many more rooms are to come.
And what else follows with the happenings? :: Even though they manage to find an opening to escape that particular room, there would be tougher challenges awaiting, and some of these tasks would have connections to their past, something which would come to their own mind at regular intervals while going through the escape procedure. There is no doubt about the fact that Amanda Harper, as an Iraq war veteran, would have a troubled past to remember from her time in the Middle East, but the question remains about what kind of past other participants would be hiding. What might be the reason why these six people who are not related to each other, and with nothing to connect them were given the puzzle cubes? Is it a game which itself has a past which had all of them together at a point? Are there some elements which make sure that these people have what it takes to survive, whether the brains or the muscles?
The defence of Escape Room :: The movie makes a fine treat within the genre, as there are puzzled to be solved, and very personal problems to be taken care of. The movie is a psychological as well as action thriller, and it also has the elements of drama with the characters’ past catching up quite fast. It can also be considered to be a part of a type, strangers-in-a-room subgenre, where only the toughest and the smartest can survive. We have seen such a situation before in The Belko Experiment, and during the times of Corona lockdown, this movie will surely catch one’s attention. There are some interesting rooms designed here even though we would have wanted even better ones. There are some nice situations being brought here for the protagonists too. We will also have some twists around here too, even though not that many of them.
The claws of flaw :: If you had watched the trailer, you would be expecting more from the movie. It does reveal a little too much of the movie, and as this one is of short run-time, there is less number of rooms. The movie could have started earlier with the action because here it starts twenty minutes in the film. There was scope for one more room to be squeezed in here with the same run-time, and with a slight increase in the same, another one could have been there. This idea has been tried and tested a lot, and it could have had something special as we see it being repeated here, but the same is not done. There is also some predictability which comes into the picture in the final stages, and the movie just tells us the names of the characters who are to survive towards the final stages – the three characters of whom we have had a few minutes of introduction, which was rather unnecessary addition to an unnecessary revelation. The ending is also ordinary.
The performers of the soul :: There is another movie in 2017 released with the same name, and what seems to be keeping this flick better could be the performances, as setting, puzzles and characters of the 2017 seems to be better from the trailer. In the 2019 version here, the one actress who looked perfectly suited for the role was Deborah Ann Woll, who played the Iraq war veteran in a very convincing way throughout the movie. The next one to make an impression is Taylor Russell who plays the character who has the most screen space, and it comes off without any difficulty. Logan Miller is natural in a usual person kind of role, and Jay Ellis suits here like Will Smith does in most occasions. Tyler Labine and Nik Dodani are the lesser players here, as we don’t get to notice them much except for the latter coming up with a funny side which is cut short too soon.
How it finishes :: With the premise that it had, Escape Room is a movie which could have achieved something bigger, and maybe it can with the upcoming sequel. The movie has its moments with the rooms, and keeping the audience at the edge of the seats trying to figure out who all will go to the next level, and how they can figure out the puzzles and survive each stage. With six people facing circumstances beyond their control, there was always going be thrilling fun, and this movie is no exception here. I was wondering that during these times of Corona, you can create yourself an escape room with puzzles. After all, we are all under lockdown, and going out is nothing less than a terrible violation against our own countrymen. So, lets play a game or two, decode some puzzles, answer some riddles, and create our own escape rooms in the house.
Release date: 4th January 2019
Running time: 100 minutes
Directed by: Adam Robitel
Starring: Taylor Russell, Logan Miller, Deborah Ann Woll, Jay Ellis, Tyler Labine, Nik Dodani, Yorick van Wageningen
@ Cemetery Watch
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