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The Game You Couldn't Put Down. The Story You Couldn't Make Up.
In 1988, American video game salesman Henk Rogers discovers the video game Tetris. When he sets out to bring the game to the world, he enters a dangerous web of lies and corruption behind the Iron Curtain.
When word came down that Apple was backing a film about the video game Tetris, many (including me) thought they were actually going to make some wild attempt at adapting the video game. Thankfully the reality was this was going to be a movie about the crazy true-life story on how the worldwide rights to the game were acquired.
I would say this film’s strengths come from a great lead performance from Taron Egerton, an incredible soundtrack that just might be the first real contender to make my personal five at the end of the year, and a great stylized way of telling its story that connects gaming with the reality of characters and events being played out on screen. The pacing of the story is mostly well-done, and gets you invested in wanting to see how things end up even though everyone with common sense knows how it will, even without privy all the exact details.
There’s a really great A-tier film in this but unfortunately its mostly in the first-third of the movie during the first act. With the second act the movie leans harder to being a political thriller that tries too hard to overexaggerate real events to make Henk Rogers look almost like a heroic spy. It also loses that great unique stylization, before suddenly coming back during the climax. Its not that the film’s middle section is bad, far from it, but the better film from the first act vanishes as it settles down to becoming more serious in tone.
But that doesn’t takeaway how much fun this movie can be or how well-made it is. Its going to be an easy sell for video game historians and anyone who loves eighties nostalgia. It doesn’t quite get to being on that top level of being an awards-caliber film, but it comes pretty close. Tetris is a great watch from home if you got Apple Tv Plus - even with its frustrating inability to be even greater than it is.