Review by Adam Donato
A Tetris movie could have easily been The Emoji Movie, but thankfully this story follows the real life makings of the Tetris game as we know it today. Taron Egerton stars as a game salesman who stumbles upon a revolutionary new game and seeks to obtain the rights, but Mother Russia stands in the way. From the director of Filth comes a movie that is closer to The Social Network than it is to The LEGO Movie. With the rise of Apple TV+ in regards to awards recognition, does Tetris hold the brand recognition to gain subscribers?
Egerton has proved that he has the acting chops to be a leading man, but his box office prowess has yet to be tested. Luckily for this movie, it debuts on a streaming service so his day in court will have to wait. The Kingsman franchise and Rocketman are both fantastic and Egerton deserves a great deal of credit. In Tetris, his performance and character is reminiscent of Jordan Belfort in The Wolf of Wall Street. He’s a fast talking, American salesman who can’t take no for an answer. This performance is full of life and personality as he once again makes the movie work. While audiences may come for the game brand, they will find themselves staying to see Egerton. I can't wait for Marvel to ruin him.
This is a video game movie? It’s about a video game, but the story is focused on how the game came to fruition. That being said, its video game roots show through as pixelated versions of characters and settings permeate the movie. This is a cute touch that adds some style to the movie and helps keep what could easily be a dark film somewhat light. There’s a good deal of humor in the film, but with the subject matter being the fall of the Soviet Union and international politics at play, things could’ve gone south quickly.
Speaking of the fall of the Soviet Union, one of the more interesting aspects about the movie is the perspective of the Soviet Union. How giving up the game to an American capitalist may seem like a small transaction, but it goes against the principles of their country and is a slippery slope to selling out entirely. The intrigue mostly takes place in Russia as American audiences can easily see this place at this point in history being a death trap — especially when our protagonist is trying to take something that was invented by a Russian. The business dealing and legal mumbo jumbo never get too out of hand as this movie pulls you in from start to finish. This true story is a rollercoaster with big ideas at play and so relatable as just about everyone has played Tetris at some point in their life.
Apple TV+ continues to make quality content and if you build it, people will come as they say. Apple has a great deal of clout and with movies like Tetris, they’re on the right track. Egerton should be an absolute star as he shines in this leading role. It’ll make you download the Tetris game app, guaranteed.
Tetris hits theaters on March 24 and streams on Apple TV+ beginning March 31.