Tetris: the film of the game, reviewed by Mark Kermode (video).
‘Tetris‘ takes us on a thrilling ride through the pixelated world of the 1980s, where the blocks of the famous video game tumble into a Cold War-era power struggle. Assembling a stellar cast, Jon S. Baird’s film shines a light on the dark corners of the gaming industry, with a tongue-in-cheek approach that will have you at the edge of your seat.
Taron Egerton, master of transformation, delivers a riveting performance as the Dutch-American entrepreneur Henk Rogers. With his sights set on securing the rights to Tetris, he navigates a labyrinth of legal battles and potential KGB retaliation. Egerton skillfully conveys the tension and excitement of the era, while simultaneously capturing the audience’s hearts with his block-busting charisma.
Nikita Efremov, as Tetris creator Alexey Pajitnov, provides the perfect foil to Egerton’s ambitious Rogers. The pair form a dynamic duo, with Pajitnov’s earnest warnings about the perils of the Cold War adding a touch of gravitas to this captivating tale.
Baird’s direction is a visual feast, seamlessly blending the iconic Tetris gameplay with the gritty reality of espionage and intrigue. The film’s pacing is as relentless as the game itself, dropping plot twists like tetrominos into the unfolding narrative.
While the historical accuracy of the film has been called into question, ‘Tetris‘ does not aspire to be a documentary. It is a creative reimagining that invites us to ponder the complexities of a bygone era when technology and politics collided.
The criticism of Egerton’s casting, as Rogers is of partial Indonesian descent, is a valid concern. However, it should not detract from the overall enjoyment of the film, which succeeds in celebrating the diverse world of gaming while providing an entertaining and captivating journey.
‘Tetris‘ is a witty and amusing romp through the 8-bit world of video games, espionage, and high-stakes business deals. With its engaging storyline, excellent performances, and a nostalgic nod to the past, this film is a delightful ode to the enduring power of Tetris. So, grab a joystick and immerse yourself in the thrilling world of this biographical thriller, where every twist and turn feels like a high score.