By Joanna Langfield

Who knew the origins of a game could be so ungamely?

Based on the true story of the globalization of the super game Tetris, this uneven movie not only tells a who knew story of international intrigue, but also gives us peeks into the slyly calculating players who give the world these games to begin with. Your enjoyment may vary, depending on your line of interest.

Taron Edgerton continues to impress as Henk Rogers, a not particularly bright but decent guy who happens upon a new video game, developed by the Russians. Seeking international rights, Rogers literally bets his bank in order to land the deal. But that deal turns out to be far more complicated than he would ever have expected, involving the London based publishing tycoon Robert Maxwell, Soviet believers and Russians who’re playing a game of their own. There’s lots of running around and lots of business back and forth, all of which director Jon S. Baird accompanies with full screen, computer generated Tetris moves, I guess, to remind of what this movie is supposed to be about. Maybe.

Because Tetris, which legitimately offers up a lot of different components, doesn’t really know what it is, as a movie. Is it an historical document, a spy thriller or a zippy trip? What kept things grounded and me interested were two things: a compelling performance from the new to me Russian actor Nikita Efremov, who’s terrific as Alexey, the man who created the game for his country, and Egerton, who adds this to his lineup of really good, smart performances. Oh, and stay with it through the end credits, for some cool pictures of the actual men of Tetris. They may not look like the usual superheroes who show up in these kind of post credit scenes, but then again, to some people, maybe they are.