This week, our ‘Friday Night Movies‘ series presents a story that is so unbelievably crazy, that you won’t believe it’s true. The 2023 biographical thriller, ‘Tetris’, directed by Jon S. Baird and penned by Noah Pink, portrays the riveting and true tale of the race to license and patent the legendary video game Tetris from Russia during the twilight of the Cold War.
Why would you want to watch a movie based on a video game you might be thinking? ‘Tetris’ isn’t merely a tale about a game; it’s a compelling story interwoven with political intrigue, business rivalries, and the indomitable spirit of entrepreneurship and innovation. The film offers a blend of suspense, historical insights, and a tribute to the legacy of a game that transcended geopolitical barriers, making it a perfect movie to add to our ever-growing Friday Night Movies series.
The film takes us back to 1988, introducing Henk Rogers, a spirited game developer who stumbles upon Tetris, a creation of Soviet programmer Alexey Pajitnov. Enraptured by its ingenuity, Rogers navigates through a cluster of legal and political hurdles to secure the licensing rights for Tetris. His journey takes him from the heart of the gaming industry in Japan to the cold and uncertain terrains of Moscow, engaging with media moguls, gaming giants like Nintendo and Sega, and even the KGB.
In a realm where every block falls precariously, Rogers’ quest not only unveils the bureaucratic red tape but also the essence of camaraderie and the boundless potential of a simple yet captivating game. As the plot unfolds, the stakes escalate, and the race to bring Tetris to the global stage encapsulates the essence of perseverance, the spirit of innovation, and the profound impact of cultural exchange during a politically tumultuous era.
At the helm is Taron Egerton, who steps into the shoes of Henk Rogers, the visionary game developer. Egerton, known for his nuanced performances, brings a blend of determination, vulnerability, and a streak of rebellion to Rogers, making the character relatable and inspiring.
Nikita Efremov, Sofia Lebedeva, and Anthony Boyle also play pivotal roles, each contributing to the intricate tapestry of geopolitical and corporate dynamics depicted in the film. Their performances add authenticity to the narrative, making the struggle to bring Tetris to the world a palpable and emotionally resonant journey.
While we wouldn’t lie to you, if you won’t take our word that Tetris is a must-watch, Rotten Tomatoes Tetris scores 82% on the Tomatometer and an 87% Audience Score. While over at IMDb with over 72,000 reviews Tetris has scored a 7.2 rating.
Where to watch Tetris
Tetris is now streaming on Apple TV+.