Tetris 2023 Movie review & movie summary

Tetris, The History Of Video Games With Taron Egerton On Apple Tv+

Taron Egerton plays Henk Rogers, the founder of a company called Bullet-Proof Software, and a man who stumbles upon the legacy of Tetris at a gaming convention in his new home country of Japan. He instantly realizes the potential of a game that hadn't yet made it around the Iron Curtain in any part of the world other than Tokyo. 

Tetris 2023 Movie review & movie summary

And he wants a piece of it. Rogers tells "Tetris," a complicated film about a simple game. It's just a set of falling blocks, but the details of market share, legal rights and Cold War politics drive the plot, not the game itself. 

Rogers is a low-level player in the gaming world, and getting the rights to something like Tetris will require navigating influential figures in business and politics.

Tetris 2023 Official Trailer

A hyperactive opening act that uses 8-bit graphics and Egerton's somewhat chaotic narration, "Tetris" settles in when Rogers arrives in Russia (but becomes a bit less entertaining). 

By this point, he's staked his family's financial future on the prospect, and Egerton, increasingly reliable, cleverly sells Henk's inability to take no for an answer, even when the KGB is involved. While trying to get the rights to sell Tetris to Nintendo so they can bundle it with their new handheld, he meets the man who actually invented the game, Alexey Pajitnov (Nikita Yefremov), and he makes the game creator's reward part of his mission. 

When Rogers suggests that he come and talk with Alexey shortly after meeting him, he seems surprised to learn that this is not allowed in Russia. No foreign guests. This is the kind of structure Rogers is trying to navigate. He doesn't know the language. He doesn't know the laws. He doesn't care because nothing is going to stop him.

It is not only the battle of communism against capitalism that stands in the way of Henk Rogers. In the 1980s, a real business villain was on the scene in the form of Robert Maxwell, played here by Roger Allam. Maxwell owned the Mirror Group, which published the Daily Mirror, among other things, and was a fascinating and divisive figure in world business and politics. (He also had a daughter named Ghislaine. Yes, that one.) 

Tetris 2023 Movie review

His son Kevin (Anthony Boyle) tries to get Dad's and the world's attention by taking advantage of Tetris, which allows the Maxwells to become the "big business" personalities standing in their way, with Toby Jones' negotiator, Robert Stein, in the middle.

In Russia, Rogers runs into Russian authorities at every turn, including a towering figure in Alexei's company named Nikolai (Oleg Shtefanko) and a classic Russian badass named Valentin (Igor Grabuzov), who literally threatens to throw a child out a window at one point, pointing out that everything falls at the same rate (Like Tetris! Get it?!?).

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