Justin Hullinger’s review published on Letterboxd:
I should probably state that the last time (maybe only time, I can't remember for sure) that I saw the original movie was back when it premiered on the SciFi Channel about 20 years ago, but I still remember a good amount of it. Things they changed from the first one to here: the style of the cube rooms, the abilities of the rooms, and the characters.
Style-wise, the room went from multi-colored with intricate metal patterns to plain white with simple metal frames and molding. It feels like it should be the other way around, and the sequel should be the one to step it up from a more basic original. This is a disappointing and bland downgrade.
In terms of the abilities of the room, it's at least interesting. Instead of the original's Saw-like traps, this one has them playing around with gravity, time, and what I guess I'd say is parallel dimensions. On the one hand it gives the movie more to play with, but on the other hand it might be too much to play with. The abilities of the room become pretty much infinite at that point. In movies like this you essentially play along with the characters as they figure out the rules and try to find a way to get out, but if the rules are "there are no rules and you can pretty much die whenever we feel like it", it takes a lot of the fun out.
In terms of the characters, they're not as bad as they initially start off, but they're still not as good as the first one's. There's a blind woman that mentions how she's being treated like an unintelligent child just because she's blind, then continues to be treated like a child and seems fine with it. You also get a crazy guy that gives all the signs in the world that someone bad is going to happen with him, and for some reason no one catches on enough.
It's not as good as the first movie, but it's actually not nearly as bad as I was afraid it might be. Given how much of these movies are focused on the characters, it could easily be broken by shallow writing. It's not great here, but it gets the job done.