Combustible Celluloid Review - Fall (2022), Jonathan Frank, Scott Mann, Scott Mann, Grace Caroline Currey (a.k.a. Grace Fulton), Virginia Gardner, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Mason Gooding, Jasper Cole, Darrell Dennis, Julia Pace Mitchell
Combustible Celluloid
 
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With: Grace Caroline Currey (a.k.a. Grace Fulton), Virginia Gardner, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Mason Gooding, Jasper Cole, Darrell Dennis, Julia Pace Mitchell
Written by: Jonathan Frank, Scott Mann
Directed by: Scott Mann
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for bloody images, intense peril, and strong language
Running Time: 107
Date: 08/12/2022
IMDB

Fall (2022)

2 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Height Plight

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Scott Mann's Fall could have been as lean and mean as its centerpiece structure, the 2000-foot-tall abandoned radio tower that is just begging for some reckless hero to climb it. It would have been a terrific 80 or 85 minutes, but the film balloons up to 107 minutes with all kinds of backstory — and even a dream/hallucination sequence — that feels like padding. It's established that Becky (Grace Caroline Currey, credited as Grace Fulton) loses her husband (Mason Gooding) in a climbing accident. She spends a year drinking and crying, while her father (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) vainly tries to help her. Then her best friend, YouTuber Hunter (Virginia Gardner), shows up with a proposal; they will climb the tower for the anniversary of the husband's death and scatter his ashes. Plus, it's time Becky get back on the horse.

So it takes some time to get the girls on the tower, but once they do, it's crackerjack. Mann — who co-wrote the screenplay with Jonathan Frank — beautifully captures the heart-stopping sense of height, and invents several natural obstacles that make the climb a tense affair. (My palms were sweating and I needed to get up and pace.) Their climb achieved, they start back down, but unfortunately, thanks to another accident, they become trapped. I don't want to say much more from there, but what I admire most about movies like this is watching how many obstacles and puzzles can be dreamed up around this very minimalist set. (Of course, the first one is "there's no cell service"!) And Mann and Frank do that admirably, or at least until the third act, when all that padding comes back into play and slows things again. But even with its various ups and downs, Fall is still recommended.

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