The Jenna Ortega Coming-Of-Age Drama On Max That Doesn’t Get Nearly Enough Attention

By Shanna Mathews-Mendez | Published

jenna ortega the fallout 1

With all the talk in recent years about school shootings, the film The Fallout, starring Jenna Ortega, deals not just with the brutality of this kind of shocking event, but also with the… well… fallout that occurs afterward.

For such a well received and critically praised movie, it is surprising more people are not talking about how necessary it is that you watch this one on Max the next chance you get. This is just the time to watch Jenna Ortega in The Fallout.

Jenna Ortega In The Fallout

In The Fallout, Jenna Ortega plays Vada, a seemingly normal high school student on her way to school with her best friend, Nick. The movie is incredibly relevant, with Gen Z references, music, and text scrolling ever-present.

As the friends rock out, they enter the high school, and the day begins. Director Megan Park, in her directorial debut, sets the scene perfectly, showing us a day in the life of the modern young adult. 

The Day Unfolds

Only moments away from the shooting and the fallout, Vada gets a call from her little sister, Amelia, that Amelia has started her period for the first time, and Vada leaves class to head to the restroom.

While there, Vada encounters Mia, a stunningly gorgeous, popular, influencer girl, played effectively by Maddie Ziegler. The two go about their business in the bathroom, complete with sounds of urine hitting the toilet and pipes dripping, relatively quiet, until the sounds of explosive gunshots ring out just outside the door. 

The Trauma Has Only Begun

Jenna Ortega the fallout

The two girls take cover in a single bathroom stall, waiting for the fallout, praying the shooter doesn’t enter the restroom.

When someone does bust in, it is a fellow student, Quinton, who is covered in blood and crying for his fallen little brother, who he watched die.

As the shooter is taken down and the events end, the trauma has really just begun. In essence, this is where Jenna Ortega and The Fallout really get started.

Bonding Over Shared Experience

Jenna Ortega the fallout

And this is where Park does her best work, in dealing with the fallout. The film centers around Vada’s experiences as she goes from fairly innocent and naive to experimenting with drugs, including marijuana and ecstasy, all in an attempt to dull the pain of reliving her trauma over and over.

She and Mia bond over their shared experience, and she and her sister grow farther apart. Vada also grows apart from her mother and her best friend Nick, seeking solace instead in people who don’t really know her. 

Messy, Chaotic, And Often Ugly

Jenna Ortega the fallout

The drug and sex on display in the film is all a result of the fallout of a school shooting, coping mechanisms rather than natural parts of a youthful journey into adulthood.

Park shows us that the aftermath of events like these ones is messy, chaotic, and often ugly. Vada goes to therapy and does heal some of the hurt she’s experienced, but the film’s ending reminds us that Vada is not alone, this is not an isolated incident, and school kids all around the country could at any moment be Vada and her friends. 

Stream The Fallout

Jenna Ortega the fallout


If for no other reason than to watch Jenna Ortega at her best, you must watch The Fallout on Max. The topic is highly current, the directing is spectacular, and the acting is superb. I give it 5 out of 5 stars.