JProtracted and complicated contractual disputes over the licensing rights of a first video game in various territories might not seem, at first glance, an obvious topic for a political thriller. But in this grand tale of thorny negotiations to get Tetris for Nintendo’s Game Boy, the path is blocked by treacherous KGB agents, Machiavellian billionaires, blackmail and corruption. There’s even a car chase. The real peril could have been reinforced in this image, which has the slightly desperate tone of a film that frantically overcompensates for not looking boring.
Director Jon S Baird (Stan and Ollie) harnesses the graphic style and plinky plonk music of 80s computer games to fun effect. But ultimately, if the film is entertaining – and it is, at least sporadically – it’s as much because of the reliable engagement Taron Egerton in the central role of embattled businessman Henk Rogers, as it does with wiretaps, honey traps and the sneers of Soviet security forces.