Get out and see ‘Escape Room’
Maybe more of the same. This movie is compared to the “Saw” movies but it's less gory. As your humble reviewer, “Escape Room” is reviewed as its own movie without comparison to the many similar themed movies. Keep in mind the most important item in any movie is: were you entertained? Yes!
“Escape Room” starts at the end with Ben (Logan Miller) dropping from a ceiling trying to find clues to escape as the room closes in around him. Which is a pretty fair start to get the audience involved. No, you don't have to solve clues and it's still a wonder to me how the characters came up with one clue after another.
We're introduced to the main characters one at a time, each in their own environment, receiving a nondescript box which is itself a puzzle. They each trigger the box to open, either by choice or by chance. A card appears from the box inviting them to sign up for an escape room. The idea of an escape room is you're locked in and have to figure out clues to find a way out.
Each character has their own distinct personalities. Danny (Nik Dodani) is a video game player and escape room expert. Jason (Jason Ellis) is a go-for-broke successful, type A personality. Mike (Tyler Labine) is a trucker. You may remember him from the series “Reaper”. Amanda (Debrah Ann Woll) is an Iraq war veteran. You may also remember her from True Blood, the Defenders and the Punisher. Ben (Logan Miller) is an alcoholic, twenty-something loser. Zoey (Taylor Russell) is the extreme introvert college student who is smarter than all the previous characters combined.
So they each enter a reception area waiting for the fun to begin. But it starts there. Very soon the doors lock, the ceiling and several walls turn to oven heating elements and they must escape before being burned alive. I'm thinking the two that survive are going to be the characters with more star power: Mike and Amandal. Although the movie premise is predictable, who makes it from one room to another isn't.
There weren't any slow parts in each room. I think the slowest part of the movie was when they all gathered in the reception room. But each character has something in common with all the other characters. And that is revealed slowly throughout the movie. The stand out characters, in terms of a really convincing performance, was Taylor Russell and her depiction of the “Rain Man” kind of college student/introvert. The way her eyes shifted, head tilts and general avoidance of contact elicited a kind of sympathy. The character you love to hate is, hands down, Jason Ellis. Predictably each character is picked off but one starts hoping Ellis's character is first.
The movie is rated PG-13 and runs a fast 100 minutes. I saw the end once and heard it twice due to technical difficulties. But that's what makes our neighborhood movie theater so awesome. They actually re-wound the last ten minutes so the audience could see and hear. And of course the movie left it open for a sequel. I was definitely entertained and I think you will be too. I'll give Escape Room 4 out of 5 Miners. Now will someone please get me out of here!