Directed by Jon S. Baird, the film succeeds by taking the absurdity and wild twists of the story and combining it with play, success, puzzle work, and a sheer love for obstacles. Indeed, Noah Pink’s script uses a gamified framing tool and shows the main characters that they have a vested interest in acquiring the rights to the game as real video game players – in addition to Henk, there are Robert Maxwell and his son Kevin, two rich, stupid, ruthless . and nasty businessmen from London, as well as Robert Stein, who initially bought the rights but now finds himself in a bureaucratic pickle. Likewise, parts of the story are presented as levels to overcome, such as a greedy politician who sees the end of communism and wants to save himself and earn a few dollars along the way.
Baird takes video game elements and literally transforms them into pixels, sometimes combining live action with animation to turn reality into a game, like a car chase with 8-bit cars. This helps sell the idea that this is an upgraded version of the story, but it also makes it a fun, compelling underdog story – even if this underdog was working for the most powerful gaming company of the time.