Fallen Review
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Due to the overwhelming popularity of the Twilight series of books and movies a decade ago, publishers and producers have been scrambling to come up with the next big supernatural teen romance series. And though author Lauren Kate’s Fallen books made the best seller lists, the film adaptation falls flat.

Fallen stars Addison Timlin as Lucinda Price, a troubled teen who’s sent by court order to the Sword & Cross reform school after she’s falsely accused of a crime. There, she meets two very different but equally intriguing classmates: dark and dangerous Cam (Harrison Gilbertson) and quiet and thoughtful Daniel (Jeremy Irvine). From the first day of class, she feels a strange connection to Daniel—as if they’d met before—and though he tries to avoid her, she soon discovers that they have a connection that spans lifetimes.

It’s clear here that, in making Fallen, the filmmakers were trying to capitalize on the popularity of series like Twilight and Harry Potter. Not only does it take place in a big, old school that seems reminiscent of Hogwarts, but it also features the supernatural elements, the love triangle, and the heavy, dark tone of Twilight. Unfortunately, though, it also borrowed Twilight’s relentless cheesiness—and everything here is melodramatic and over-the-top.

The characters and their back stories are flat and underdeveloped. The film touches on Luce’s tragic past, yet it doesn’t give her much of a personality. The two boys who are vying for her affection are so one-dimensional that it’s sometimes laughable—and the rest of the supporting characters don’t fare much better (except, perhaps, for Lola Kirke’s Penn, Luce’s slightly creepy but amusingly over-eager new friend).

The plot, meanwhile, seems a little too familiar. While the concept is slightly different—fallen angels instead of vampires and werewolves—it still involves two handsome but eternally sullen teenage boys (with supernatural powers, of course) fighting over one troubled (but otherwise entirely average) teen girl. There aren’t many surprises here—and when it comes to its cliffhanger ending, it most likely won’t have the desired effect. Instead of eagerly awaiting the sequel, most viewers will just be frustrated—and maybe a little moody.

If you’re searching for another dark, supernatural teen romance franchise, Fallen certainly ticks all of the boxes. But the flat characters, the agonizing melodrama, and the predictable story make it the kind of movie that only die-hard fans of the books will love.

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