I really enjoyed the first 'Escape Room' film back in 2019 (it feels like longer ago than that for some reason). The movie was pretty well received and did well at the box office so of course a sequel was going to come along eventually. Plus the ending of the first one basically demanded it (an ending that is recapped at the beginning of this film in case you were wondering whether you needed to see the original first before this - although I would still recommend it for other things that crop up during the sequel). So here we are two years later getting that follow-up, and I have to say it was a pretty darn good movie all up.
I'll start by saying if you struggle with suspension of disbelief in films then you are going to struggle with this one a lot. There are some elements to this movie that are so far-fetched they don't even try to explain them. You just have to accept them for what they are and sit back and enjoy the ride (if you can).
Both of the movies in this series have PG-13 ratings, but it really doesn't take anything away from either of the movies as far as I can tell. People still die in some pretty horrific ways, however the movie isn't going out of its way to rub your face in it. It has a strong enough story going on that it really doesn't have to. We know the stakes are high and (almost) no character is safe.
The pacing of this movie is electric. It's short at only 88 minutes, but even then it's over before you know it. Once the action starts it never relents. These movies are almost like a hybrid of the horror and action genres and I think that is one of the reasons they work so well. People who like horror are able to enjoy the action elements just fine, and people who don't like horror know that the movie isn't setting out to scare you or gross you out at all. There's a really good balance found here.
The only criticism I'd suggest was that some of the new characters could have done with a little fleshing out. There's a scene where everyone goes around the circle and says their name, and that's about the extent of the development we get for a lot of them. It makes them a little hard to care for, and makes them feel quite expendable.
If you enjoyed the first 'Escape Room' you're almost certainly going to have a good time with this one too. This one follows a similar formula, but has some unique twists and turns to add something to the series as well. I had a really good time with 'Escape Room: Tournament of Champions' and would recommend people check it out.