If you thought Tetris was similar to other video game-inspired movies, like Angry Birds or Mario Bros., we can’t blame you. Who would have thought that the origins of this world famous game were steeped in an atmosphere of the end of the Cold War and that people put their lives in danger to obtain the rights to distribute it?
In the early 1980s, computer scientist Alexey Pajitnov created video games on the Electronica 60, a Russian computer, in his spare time. In 1984, he programmed the first version of Tetris. His colleagues from the Academy of Sciences of the USSR love it. Some members of the government then saw an opportunity to sell the game abroad, but in a communist regime that was beginning to crumble, not all politicians favored the triumph of the fatherland.
Thus, we follow four men who fight to obtain the rights to use Tetris. There’s Robert Stein (Toby Jones), who’s used to dealing with Russians. Billionaire Robert Maxwell (Roger Allam) and his son Kevin (Anthony Boyle), who swears he knows President Mikhail Gorbachev well. Then Henk Rogers (Taron Egerton), a Dutch businessman who lives in Tokyo and collaborates with Nintendo.
The story of the film is told from his point of view. Sympathetic and persistent, Henk is an ideal protagonist for a complex story of a battle for rights that could have been boring. Taron Egerton (Rocketman, Kingsman) delivers a compelling and energetic performance – maybe even too much. The rest of the cast is all in all pretty solid.
Screenwriter Noah Pink (the Genius series) inclusion of historical events, such as the fall of the USSR, the implosion of Robert Maxwell’s empire and the creation of the Game Boy, makes the story all the more interesting.
Director Jon S. Baird (Stan
Like the game, Tetris is a proposal that surprises and entertains us.