Between The Last Of Us (great!) and upcoming The Super Mario Bros. Movie (no comment!), it’s very clear that big-budget, in-universe video game adaptations are THE hot ticket right now. With this in mind, one could be forgiven for thinking that a movie called Tetris was somehow going to eke out a goofy plot line about falling geometric bricks threatening a suburban town, with Taron Egerton (Rocketman) voicing the “L” brick, or maybe even the “T” brick.
That is not what this is. Tetris is, more than anything else, about the KGB. We bet you three nice “I” bricks you didn’t see that one coming.
Egerton stars in the true origin story (also an incredibly popular genre right now) as video game salesman Henk Rogers, a man whose dreams are haunted by falling bricks after stumbling across what would later become Tetris at a Las Vegas electronics show in 1988. (As someone who has played a little too much Tetris in her time, this author can confirm that the Tetris Effect is very, very real.)
Immediately recognizing the IP’s potential—he declares it to be “the perfect game”—Rogers sets out on a path to bring his beloved Tetriminoes (yes, that is the official name) to the masses. Unbeknownst to the salesman at the time, this is a path that will tie him intimately to one of the most important technological advances of his time, the GameBoy, as well as the crushing force of the Soviet Union.
It turns out that Tetris was created by a Russian designer (Nikita Efremov), and the Soviet Union isn’t too keen on parting with the rights to the game just yet, despite his and Rogers’ best efforts. Rogers’ ensuing life-threatening, R-rated war with one of the most dangerous forces on earth looks like it will be a gripping, gritty, heart-pumping romp. Almost as exhilarating as the game it’s based on.
Tetris premieres March 31 on Apple TV+.