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An Honest Fallout Series From Amazon Prime Video Review

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Fallout

Amazon Prime video recently released an eight episode season of a show called ‘Fallout,’ which is based in total on the incredibly popular video game series. First released in 1997, Fallout has become one of the most successful video game franchises ever.

Amazon’s Fallout series marks the first attempt by Bethesda, who collaborated with the streaming platform in the creation of the series, to bring the Fallout universe to the big (or small) screen.

The last installment in the franchise Fallout 4 sold over 13.5 million units worldwide, and won Game of the Year in 2015.

Central to each of the video games is a central story line in which the world descends into nuclear fallout in the year 2077. In that story line, a company called ‘Vaultech’ creates a series of underground vaults with the goal of preserving humanity that are utilized during the nuclear event.

Every installment of the Fallout videogame series has characters emerging from a vault to travel the wasteland, much like the plot of this new Amazon series.

This particular 8-episode series had an estimated budget of $153 Million. Let’s review some key points about season one of ‘Fallout.’

The Plot Of Amazon’s New Fallout Series

The new ‘Fallout’ series centers around a female protagonist called ‘Lucy Maclean,’ a woman who was born and raised in Vaultec Vault 33. Maclean ventures out into the wasteland after chaos strikes her vault.

It is set in California, particularly Los Angeles.

Maclean’s father, Hank Maclean, is the Overseer (or leader) of the vault in which Lucy and her family live.

We don’t want to give away any of the plot, so we will just say that Maclean encounters many different obstacles out in the ‘Fallout’ world.

The plot is primarily broken into three story lines. That of Lucy Maclean, a ghoulish bounty hunter named Cooper Howard, and member of a militaristic post-apocalyptic organization called ‘The Brotherhood of Steel,” named Maximus.

Cooper Howard, a former movie star before the nuclear strikes descended the world into a wastland, and had served in a war against the Russians in Alaska (another piece of the overall Fallout story arc), had become a ghoul, and a bounty hunter.

Maximus is introduced as a child who was taken into the ‘Brotherhood of Steel,’ and is attempting to become a high-ranking ‘Knight’ in the organization.

Again, we don’t want to give too much away, but this 8-part series has many different focuses. It is largely separated into these three storylines, and entangled brilliantly.

Unbelievable Sets

This show had an astounding $153 Million budget, and it showed. Every single set in this show looks grand, immersive, and spectacular. For those who have played the games, constantly seeing real-life depictions of the structures, weapons, and items included in the games is truly impressive.

From the bunkers and vaults to the wasteland, the sets in this new ‘Fallout’ series are both impressive and unbelievably large.

At one point, one character stops at a Red Rocket Truck Stop, a location in Fallout 4. There are also several other locations depicted in the games that are also shown in the series.

The job of any great movie set is to make you forget that you are watching a movie or television show, and the sets on ‘Fallout’ do just that.

The Actors

Ella Purnell As Lucy Maclean

Tasked with an incredibly difficult role, Ella Purnell shines in this series. Her character undergoes a tremendous change in both appearance and attitude, a fact that is showcased in nearly every trailer for the program.

Her dynamic range as an actress is on full display. The broad weight of this series fall squarely on Purnell’s shoulders, and she handled it brilliantly.

In a role that truly had unbelievable potential to go in the wrong direction, Purnell did just about everything right. Additionally, the fact that she is dropdead gorgeous doesn’t hurt.

You will find yourself, in many scenes, following the emotion of Purnell’s soft, but magnified eyes. A truly great performance.

Aaron Clifton Moten as Maximus

Aaron Moten did nothing wrong, nothing at all, however, if there is a weak point in this entire series, it is the early development of the Maximus character. Moten was given a script in which is quite literally would have been impossible to portray this character in a positive light.

Moten shines in the last 3-4 episodes of the series, and increasingly becomes more watchable throughout the series. Though he was almost annoying to watch at the beginning of the series, by the end, Moten’s emotional range was highlighted brilliantly.

Again, the struggles of Maximus’ likability in the beginning of the series has almost nothing to do with Moten, and everything to do with the script, but it was the one glaring mistake that I could see.

Walton Goggins As Cooper Howard

Walton Goggins had the best performance in this series, and it really isn’t even close. Goggins had the most unique and dynamic role in ‘Fallout,’ playing both a ghoul and flashback human version of Cooper Howard.

The greatest characters in cinema, and television history have the unique ability of having negative qualities, or elements of evil to their character, and having the audience forget them in order to root for the success of the character.

Goggins shows every emotion, and dominates the screen in every scene in which he is present. He really should win an award for his work in this piece. A complete homerun.

Soundtrack

The ‘Fallout’ series comes with expectations of a great soundtrack, expectations that Amazon and Bethesda surely met.

While staying true to its Fallout roots, with the use of classics such as ‘The Wanderer,’ by Dion and the Belmonts and ‘I Don’t Want To Set The World On Fire,’ by the Ink Spots, it also introduces new great songs to the Fallout universe, such as songs by ‘Buck Owens,’ and an exquisite use of Johnny Cash’ ‘All Over Again.’

The soundtrack to this series gets an A from us.

Final Grade

When I first heard that ‘Fallout’ was being turned into a television series, my first thought was ‘oh no.’

The process of turning the Fallout universe, or any videogame universe, into a movie or television show has really never truly worked well.

This series is the lone exception. If you’re not a ‘Fallout’ fan, it works. If you are a ‘Fallout’ fan, it really works. It’s charming, funny at times, and an extremely well-acted and well-told story.

There was obviously an extensive amount of work that went into creating this series, and keeping it true to the subject material. The extra work, and dedication to detail really shows here.

If you’re looking for mistakes, you won’t find many. Going in expecting a bomb, I was pleasantly surprised to find that ‘Fallout’ is the best television series that I have seen in some time.

I give the new Amazon ‘Fallout’ series an A. If you have seen the series, let us know what you thought in the comments!

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