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It’s hard to believe that everything that happens in Tetris more or less occurred, which hinders the film to some extent but doesn’t make it any less of a crowd-pleasing fun ride.

There is a wonderful Italian saying, that kept on running circles in my head while watching Tetris: si non e vero, bene trovato. But most of wat you see in the picture did actually happen, which is as mind-boggling to think about as it is entertaining to watch.

Chronicling the battle for the licensing rights of the Soviet-made titular game, Tetris plays out as a cross between a Cold War thriller and a feelgood charmer about a small-time entrepreneur who risks his home and family for something he passionately believes in.

That might seem like an odd fit but Tatris pulls it off, thanks to a solid screenplay that twists and turns to pleasing effect, fun eighties Soviet nostalgia and a winning lead performance by Taron Egerton. A crucial mid-movie negotiation sequence in particular is as tautly entertaining and suspenseful as you'll see this year.

Not everything in Tetris hits the bull's eye though: the persistent use of 8-bit graphics as chapter headings grows tiresome quickly, while the emotional homefront detours feel forced.

Still, the movie outperformed my expectation by a considerable margin and left me giddily smiling throughout most of its slightly overlong runtime.

release: 2023

director: Jon S. Baird

starring: Taron Egerton, Toby Jones, Roger Allam, Nikita Efremov


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