Fallout atomizes the post-apocalyptic genre (review)

Fallout atomizes the post-apocalyptic genre (review)

A little bomb! The new Prime Video series is a treat of dark humor, a delightful mad-Maxian adventure and an impressive bloody spectacle. And here is a new successful video game adaptation.

The Last of Us beat us to prove that we could make a good video game adaptation for television!” There is a slight regret among the creators of fallout. They are not the first. Yes, before them, The Last of Us and HBO have broken a glass ceiling. But fallout is now rushing into the breach with exhilarating enthusiasm. A truly communicative jubilation!

While he was unable to finish his Westworld, Jonathan Nolan turns the page in a very beautiful way with this serial version of a 30-year-old video game, which continues to be a hit among gamers, who have had the time to explore around ten different opuses. It is therefore the universe of fallout all that Nolan deploys on Prime Video. A world where nuclear war has ravaged humanity. A world where half the globe was devastated by a deluge of bombs, which fell 200 years ago. The American government had foreseen the blow, by creating gigantic fallout shelters, called “Vault”, where a few lucky ones were able to continue to live peacefully… while chaos and the law of the cruelest reigned on the surface among the survivors. Lucy grew up peacefully in “Vault 33”, without imagining the horrors of the outside world. However, she will have to confront it. While her father has been kidnapped, she emerges from her cocoon for the first time and discovers a post-apocalyptic America, ravaged and populated by ruthless beings…

“At the end of the 2000s, when people asked me my favorite film, I said: fallout ” In the latest issue of Première (n°550), Jonathan Nolan explained to us that he was a big fan of the games fallout and video games in general. For him, video game storytelling has surpassed that of cinema in many areas. The spectacular result of this adaptation will not prove him wrong. The Prime Video series reinvents the post-apocalyptic genre, adopting a jubilant satirical approach, conscious of the end times, which fits perfectly with the spirit of the game. The Last of Us had managed to capture all the melancholy of the Playstation masterpiece, fallout manages to admirably transcribe the madness of the universe imagined by the developer Todd Howard.

Even more, she succeeds in creating her own story in this universe. Because the Prime Video series does not take up the plot of a Fallout 3, 4, Or 5. While The Last of Us “just had to” follow the plot of Joel and Ellie, the creators of fallout had to invent their own story, retaining the original tone, while avoiding the pitfall of sanitized reverence.

Because there was no question of making a series intended only for gamers. We needed to reach a wider audience. The adaptation thus transforms into an absolutely exhilarating post-apo SF western. Breathtaking at times, as the devastated “retrofuturist” settings are so impressive. The production put its big budget to good use. Filmed on real locations, between Namibia and the mountains of Utah, fallout puts on the show with a monumental, gigantic aesthetic, which is even included in the bloody battles. In this world ravaged by the atomic age, brutality is everywhere and the violence is comically exaggerated, through a quasi-burlesque staging, totally assumed.

The Ghoul, noseless, immortal and irradiated bounty hunter (incarnated by a Walton Goggins inhabited), thus accompanies the young Lucy (Ella Purnell) in a lunar mission where the goal is to find a severed head… fallout is total sci-fi entertainment, which never takes itself completely seriously without losing sight of the rich narrative of video games. This is the recipe for success according to Jonathan Nolan : “Early video game adaptations, like Super Mario in 1993, approached things in a cynical manner. It was a time when directors didn't know anything about video games, they didn't play games at all, and they didn't give a damn. They didn't understand that the most important thing is the storytelling itself.” Craig Mazin loved to play The Last of Us before imagining making a series. Nolan is a gaming aficionado fallout and his passion shines through his series. The era of video game series may have just begun.

Fallout, season 1 in 8 episodes, watch in full on Prime Video from Thursday April 11 (at 3 a.m. in France).

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