Tetris movie Review
We all know the stress of having those colourful blocks pile up just a little too high, but it's nothing compared to the true story behind one of the most iconic video games of all time. Tetris takes us inside the espionage-filled fight to put the game in the hands of millions across the globe. So, how does this AppleTV original stack up?
This movie functions both as a Cold War thriller and a tech-centric legal drama. It’s got plenty of energy to spare, moving quickly through Tetris’ complicated journey from the Soviet Union to consoles, computer systems and arcades worldwide. Through focusing on the more thrilling elements (plenty of sneaky double crosses and blackmail here), the film maintains a brisk pace, but often brushes over some of the more interesting details.
Taron Egerton stars as a passionate and enthusiastic game designer, determined to get the rights to bring Tetris to worldwide markets. His infectious energy powers the film, and gives his uphill battle a real underdog feeling. The supporting players are kind of a mixed bag, especially when it comes to the villains, who are simply cartoonish most of the time. Of course, there are some exceptions, such as the always excellent Toby Jones as a scheming licensing agent, and Nikita Efremov as the internally conflicted creator of Tetris.
Stylistically, the movie draws inspiration from the 8-bit era in which it’s set. The pixelated title cards and establishing shots are a great touch, but incorporating old-school graphics into the actual movie is rather gimmicky. There’s a pursuit in the last act that’s so silly and out of place both tonally and visually, which was enough to keep this film from a higher score. Speaking of score, though, the music is a huge highlight, with a techno filled soundtrack that blends in those signature bleeps and bloops brilliantly.
Not every piece fits together in a totally satisfying way, but Tetris gets extra points for Egerton’s charismatic performance, and by bringing this wildly unbelievable true story to light. It might not be the high score I was hoping for, but it’s far from a game over.
Tetris is available on Apple TV March 31st