Not Quite Ecstasy 

A Tetris Documentary That's Just Short of Perfect

ECSTASY OF ORDER Pictured above: ecstasy!

ECSTASY OF ORDER Pictured above: ecstasy!

VIDEOGAMES don't get much simpler than Tetris: Everyone has played it, yet the game's real allure is that it's almost impossible to master. The quest to unite the world's best Tetris players would have made a phenomenal topic for a documentary, and for the first half of The Ecstasy of Order: The Tetris Masters, that's exactly what we're offered. Once the film starts to hint at the inner-life of former Nintendo World Champion Thor Aackerlund, however, viewers are given a glimpse of a far more interesting tale.

I don't want anyone to think that Ecstasy of Order is a bad film—it ranks just below 2007's The King of Kong as one of the best videogame documentaries ever made, and despite the subject matter, it's entirely accessible to even those who shun pixelated pastimes—but by the end, viewers will be wishing for more about Aackerlund's life over the past two decades. I love Ecstasy of Order for what it is, but at the same time, I was frustrated by how much more it could've been, and what went unsaid about the unique—and apparently somewhat maudlin—life of this obviously reticent former Tetris World Champion. Here's hoping Ecstasy of Order's filmmakers see this as an opportunity to craft a follow-up.

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