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Apple’s Tetris review: A movie that has no idea what it wants to be

Apple’s Tetris review: A movie that has no idea what it wants to be

how story Tetris made his way out of Russia to the west It became a global phenomenon just as the Soviet Union was collapsing Wonderful story Capitalist greed, technological innovation, political revolution—things you might think would make for an interesting movie adaptation.

All of these narrative building blocks are present and interpreted in tetris, The new Apple TV Plus feature from director Jon S. Baird, which debuted at this year’s SXSW. But rather than feeling like a piece of portable history brought to life, this is uneven Tetris The origin story plays out as if it was tailor-made for middle-aged film festival-goers who somehow lived to the end of the 20th century Without playing the video game of the same name.

Although Apple Tetris It is partly an account of how the game itself was first created, and its real focus is on the life of Henk Rogers (Taron Egerton), a Dutch-born businessman who in the late 1980s becomes embroiled in a complex battle for the law. Proprietary licensing rights to companies like Nintendo and Atari. As the founder of his own game publishing company and developer of one of Japan’s first hit RPGs, Henk can immediately feel he’s in for something great when he stumbles upon a very early release of Tetris Being shown at CES as the movie opens.

Obviously, video games were around in the mid-1980s when Russian software engineer Alexei Pajitinov (Nikita Efremov) first started developing. Tetris As a side project while working at the Dorodnitsyn Computing Centre. But there was nothing quite like it Tetris On the market at the time—particularly in the communist Soviet Union—and the whole process of getting new titles into stores was an entirely different game of either creating or owning the legal rights to viable software and then getting the status right to actually selling copies on a massive scale.

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Even in the best-case scenario, one would be hard-pressed to turn a man’s quest to secure video game distribution rights into an impressive narrative defined by compelling characters and a distinctive voice. But that’s exactly what Tetris He tries and fails spectacularly to do in a breathless first third, which is mostly royal banker Hank Larry (Rick Yune) with an account. TetrisSoviet origins which is very similar to the Wikipedia entry.

It was during one of Henk’s fateful money meetings with Larry Tetris He starts to get a little experimental with a series of dummy quads dropping behind the slick salesman – the movie’s way of showing you just how obsessed with the game he was from the jump. It’s a clever and fun way to visualize Tetris influence and Henk’s obsessive relationship with the game, but it’s also one of the first signs of how the movie ends with him feeling like he’s not quite sure what kind of story he wants.

In addition to Henk, a Dutch-Indonesian expat working out of Japan where he lives with his wife Akemi (Ayan Nagabuchi) and their three children, Tetris It also details how shady, business-minded power players like a media mogul are Robert Maxwell (Roger Allam), his son Kevin (Anthony Boyle), and businessman Robert Stein (Toby Jones) each had designs on taking the game around the world without fully convincing the Soviets of the scale of their plans.

like Tetris Introducing more and more of its central players with starkly stylized 8-bit title cards, the film stops feeling like a fast-paced depiction of Henk’s life and begins imitating the beats of a politically-edged spy thriller. However, true to what the real Henk Rogers may be, Egerton’s Ted Lasso-like performance is a stark contrast to the dark and ominous tone. Tetris The following takes Henk to the Soviet Union, where he plans to charm his way into government buildings and broker game distribution deals.

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Ironically, it has not happened yet Tetris He arrives in Russia and begins to delve into the precariousness of the situation in which people like Pajitnov live as the film begins to take off as much as possible before returning to Henk and his faltering quest to become the man who really gave him a hand. Tetris to the wider world.

Unless the idea of ​​two-dimensional British punks chanting “Psych!” in each other excites you, Tetris Not very interesting when it brings to light the various acts of treachery and backstabbing people that are committed in pursuit of profits from the game. But you can feel the beginnings of a really interesting story when the movie winds down Tetris— a drama set to frame the game and its economic success outside of Russia as existential threats to the USSR that government officials like Nikolai Belikov (Oleg Stefan) want to neutralize.

Was the movie more concerned with showing why games are so cool Tetris Terrified by the state, its approach to weaving Rogers and Pagetnov’s stories together might work more effectively. Instead of that , Tetris It goes for a simpler approach that makes for an easier to absorb, less accurate visualization of history.

Tetris Already feeling lost during a tense fight at the Rogers house makes it seem like Henk somehow doesn’t know how to respond to his Japanese-speaking children in anything but English – a bizarre inadvertent highlight of Apple’s decision to cast Egerton as a Dutch-Indonesian guy . But by the time you get to the climactic chase scene where the cars racing through town become pixelated illustrations, Tetris He’s gone through so many color shifts that it’s hard to tell if he’s trying to reach for an augmented kind of reality or if he’s trying to be funny.

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From somewhat imperfect combos to multiple instances of missing chemistry, there is no single piece of Tetris It stands out as being particularly worse than the others, and as one unit, they all fit together to tell the richly revered story of the game that put the Game Boy on the map. but tetris, The game is worth a lot more than Apple deserves Tetris He has to show.

Tetris It also stars Togo Igawa, Ben Miles, Ken Yamamura, and Matthew March. The movie hits Apple TV Plus on March 31st.