‘Fallout’ series review: A roaring rampage of post-apocalyptic carnage

The screen adaptation of Bethesda Softworks’ legendary RPG, Fallout, captivates audiences from the start, similar to the gripping narrative found in 2023’s The Last of Us. In this iteration, we follow the perilous journey of a young woman navigating a world in ruins, alongside allies and against adversaries.

Directed by Jonathan Nolan, the premiere episode of Fallout called ‘The End,’ spans an expansive 74 minutes, effectively setting the desolate stage with imagery that may remind viewers of Nolan’s earlier work in Westworld.

A scene featuring the Power Suit from ‘Fallout’
| Photo Credit:
Prime Video

Set in 2077 Los Angeles, Cooper Howard (played by Walton Goggins), an erstwhile celebrity known for his cowboy roles, is seen entertaining at a child’s party—surviving post-divorce life as best as he can. The narrative captures a society seemingly frozen in time, with a backdrop of vintage televisions and 1950s fashion, under the shadow of nuclear terror and communist paranoia.

As a colorful cake is shared, a nuclear calamity strikes, propelling us 219 years into the future. Survivors now dwell in subterranean Vaults. Lucy (Ella Purnell), a resident of Vault 33, encounters disastrous events on her wedding day, incited by surface raiders led by Lee Moldaver (Sarita Choudhury).

‘Fallout’ Season 1 (English)

Creators: Graham Wagner, Geneva Robertson-Dworet

Cast: Ella Purnell, Aaron Moten, Kyle MacLachlan, Moises Arias, Xelia Mendes-Jones

Episodes: 8

Runtime: 45–74 minutes

Storyline: In an alternate history, post-apocalyptic world, a girl sets off on a quest to free her father

With her father held captive, Lucy is determined to venture above ground to rescue him. The surface world is dominated by the Brotherhood of Steel, fiercely guarding pre-war technology to prevent further catastrophe. Squire Maximus (Aaron Moten) must prove his mettle alongside the brash Knight Titus (Michael Rapaport) on a mission to find Dr. Siggi Wilzig (Michael Emerson), who is accompanied by a faithful canine.

The ghoul-turned-gunslinger Cooper also has a stake in locating Wilzig, as does Lucy, who sees the doctor as leverage for her father’s freedom.

Dynamics shift as fragile alliances are tested and deceptions are exposed amidst the trio’s perilous trek. Meanwhile, Lucy’s brother and cousin, portrayed by Moisés Arias and Dave Register, unearth grim realities within their own Vault.

The narrative delves into the characters’ backstories and the ominous growth of Vault-Tec, hinting at deeper conspiracies with every turn.

The series has successfully polarized fans of the original video game, but Jonathan Nolan, a self-proclaimed enthusiast of the franchise, ensures there’s enough excitement for newcomers and subtle nods for die-hard fans. The show propels forward with equal parts wit and terror, juxtaposing the absurdity of calm reminders amidst ballistic chaos with darker, more profound imagery.

Ella Purnell as Lucy and Kyle MacLachlan as Hank in a still from ‘Fallout”

Ella Purnell as Lucy and Kyle MacLachlan as Hank in ‘Fallout’
| Photo Credit:
Prime Video

Injecting nostalgia with a modern twist, classic tunes underscore the series’ more grisly scenes, while the diverse cast delivers performances that anchor the compelling narrative. With outstanding production quality, gripping script, and immersive sound design, Fallout is an adrenaline-laced adventure worth embarking on—as viewers eagerly anticipate the revelations of season 2 and the fate of Roosevelt, the dog.

Fallout is currently available for streaming on Prime Video.

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