On HBO Max
The Fallout is a high school drama with a teen vibe; however, the film has value, so it is worthwhile and entertaining for all to watch. The film deals with the lives of four teenagers and how they cope with a shooting in their high school. The first 10-minutes, maybe the first 15-minutes of the film depicting the pre-life, the shooting, and the immediate aftermath with family and a friend, are powerful, and emotion stirring. The Fallout respectfully presents the shooting scene, and the close-up photography with the subtle background music is effective in the aftermath.
The film mainly focuses on Vada (Jenna Ortega, The Babysitter: Killer Queen, Scream), her younger middle-school-age sister Amelia (Lumi Pollack), and the parents (John Ortiz and Julie Bowen, Modern Family, Mixtape).
After the first 15-minutes, The Fallout diverts to a teenage story, a little sex, some drugs, the annoying and worried parents, but always, in the background, the aftershock of the shooting. The star of the film Vada becomes friends with Mia, the perfect Instagram influencer, played by Maddie Ziegler (Music). Their new relationship takes up a lot of the film. Mia’s character is interesting, integral to Vada’s healing, but the most unrealistic part of the movie. At times I wondered if Mia even existed, but I am giving the film too much credit, this is a Gen Z movie, not Toni Morrison’s Beloved.
Jenna Ortega is excellent in the role of Vada. She is the star and has the lead role in the film. Jenna makes everything seem genuine, from the texting to the panic to the anger, confusion, and pain. This is Jenna’s biggest role so far and might make her a star and get her out of horror films.
Shailene Woodley is Vada’s therapist filling up a little time in a few unremarkable scenes.
Julie Bowen may be typecast as the mother of teenagers. I just saw her in a 2021 movie, Mixtape, where she played the same type of character.
It is good and a little surprising to see Maddie Ziegler in another film after the flop of Sia’s movie Music. I hope Maddie has dropped her obsession with Sia for now.
The Fallout is a good film and is more than just a high school drama. The film is entertaining, emotional, relevant, contemporary, and cool.