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"Escape Room: Tournament of Champions" another irrationally thrilling escapism

Escape Room: Tournament of Champions (2021) 2019’s “Escape Room” proved the January release stigma wrong by being a pleasant surprise and not a nothing burger. It was constructed with more intelligence and showmanship than expected, until nothing could really fix the crummy franchise-starter of an ending except for the arrival of a sequel. 31 months later, that’s exactly what we get with “Escape Room: Tournament of Champions,” which sounds like a “Hunger Games”-like remix on this “Saw”-but-hold-the-torture horror-thriller but more of the same crafty, breathlessly involving ride. Even if you don’t like playing strategy-centric games and solving puzzles yourself, it’s more exciting to watch characters do all the thinking and solving for us at a frantic pace where there’s no time to waste.   Previously on “Escape Room” (in an efficient recap of the first film), Zoey (Taylor Russell) and Ben (Logan Miller) were the sole survivors of a Manhattan escape room designed and controlled by the e

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