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  • Writer's pictureSteve

The Fallout (2021)

I'm only surprised that the little sister didn't blame the shooting on her getting her first period that morning. A little too much morose self-indulgence for a Tuesday, I feel. There was a reason I waited so long to watch this and that ended up being the exact reason I wanted to avoid it. Jenna Ortega for a kick-off is, in the grand scheme of things, still emerging, and to those most likely to get caught in the toilet during a school shooting are the very thirstiest for her as yet unproven talent. Yes, Britney or whatever your name is, you in the cheerleader outfit, I am pointing at you.

We really don't need to be taught that shit happens. We are more than aware of this seemingly uniquely transatlantic trait as it occurs so bloody often, usually in a school, by children, with access to firearms, due to specifically moronic laws regarding their availability. If every child over the age of 10 and under 21 in America isn't thinking "this is so me" right about now, whilst expressing their own very personal trauma to all of their Instagram followers, then they are the one carrying the gun, most likely.

Whilst this particular nightmare comes with a predictable geographical familiarity by now, so does the angst that inevitably follows, all pouting and kicking its heels like nobody understands it, how it hates life and wishes it had never been born. Sigh.

Perhaps I'm just too old by now to really sit still for this any longer. This is so far from original as to make your eyes roll. Take your feet off the furniture and give yourself a good shake. Shailene Woodley providing mental health? Really? If there was any cinematic justice, when I saw Mia float by in the pool with wine in one hand and a joint hanging out of her mouth, the last of any credibility the film had should have sunk with her.

And yet, many of the performances are still engaging and the direction is skilful in the same way that watching Judd Nelson running down a corridor on a weekend, banging lockers with pent-up misdirected, misunderstood youthful exuberance was cathartic. You don't need a shooting to rebel, children as are as likely to do that anyway without guidance. Growing up is hard. It always has been. It's blind luck I didn't end up in front of a judge on several occasions, for example. Nobody had to die in a hail of gunfire for that to happen.


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