deltopia

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General Information

Director(s) Michael Easterling and Jaala Ruffman
Screenplay By Michael Easterling and Jaala Ruffman
Based On N/A
Date Released (Video On Demand) August 29, 2023
Genre(s) Drama

Young Adult

Film Length 1 Hour 43  Minutes
Content Rating Rated R
Noted Characters and Cast
Hannah Luna Blaise
Jack Charlie Gillespie
Ellery Madison Pettis
Bones Hart Denton

What Is “Deltopia” Rated And Why?

“Deltopia” is rated R due to profanity, sex, and drug use. 

Film Summary

[adthrive-in-post-video-player video-id=”IhETqO8S” upload-date=”2023-08-31T10:37:56.000Z” name=”Deltopia (2023) – Spoiler Free Review” description=”A spoiler-free review of the movie Deltopia, starring Madison Pettis, Luna Blaise, Charlie Gillespie, and Hart Denton, released on Video on Demand on August 29, 2023.” player-type=”static”]

This content contains pertinent spoilers. Also, images and text in this post may contain affiliate links. If a purchase is made from those sites, we may earn money or products from the company.

“Deltopia” begins with close-ups of teens screaming at cops in riot gear. Text appears on the screen explaining, “Teenage rebellion…supersedes class, culture, and race.” What this message means sums up my thoughts on watching “Deltopia”: it’s kinda vague, kinda pointless, with no significant result.

The riot scenes are inspired by true events that took place at an actual Deltopia back in 2014. But don’t expect the movie to explain that. This humble reviewer did their research. What “Deltopia” prefers to focus on is the thin romance between Hannah (Luna Blaise) and Jack (Charlie Gillespie), and their relentless stereotypical best friends, who just want to hump or fight everything.

With dialogue like “I really wish I fist banged that chick back in high school,” delivered by a character called Bones (Hart Denton), you’d think “Deltopia” was a comedy. But it’s not. The humor comes from “Deltopia,” being so tone-deaf in how teens behave that you have no choice but to laugh.

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Ellery (Madison Pettis) and Hannah (Luna Blaise) entering a party in “Deltopia” (2023)

“Deltopia” follows these four teens, Hannah, Jack, Ellery, and Bones, over the course of one night as they go to the biggest college party of the year. They mostly spend their time between two groups with the same repetitive goal. Ellery (Madison Pettis) wants to get Hannah laid, but Hannah is more concerned about going to college or not (even though it’s the last day of high school and Decision Day is usually two months beforehand). Bones wants to get Jack laid, but Jack is too busy trying to be a gentleman by delivering molly to Hannah.

Amid the friends’ separation, montages of drugs, booze, and sex take place, but none of it looks like a fun time, and somehow, all of these shenanigans result in a minor riot against the police. Writers and directors Michael Easterling and Jaala Ruffman are capable music video directors and show a flair for style, but they need a script with more substance that doesn’t feel horribly outdated. The result is that “Deltopia” may be the least fun movie about a party that I’ve ever seen.

Other Noteworthy Information

  1. “Deltopia” states it’s based on true events but does not explain what those events are.

Character Descriptions

Please Note: This character guide is not an exhaustive list of every cast member, and character descriptions may contain what can be considered spoilers.

Hannah

Hannah is a reserved high school senior, but she’s convinced by her best friend to let loose after her recent breakup. While Hannah is open to trying new experiences, she loses her own identity in the process.

  • The actor is also known for their roles in “Manifest” and “Fresh Off the Boat.”

Jack

Deltopia 3
Charlie Gillespie as Jack in “Deltopia” (2023)

Jack is the California skateboarder bro with a sensitive side. His main goal is to try to woo Hannah into a relationship and sometimes throw tires around.

  • The actor is also known for their roles in “Julie and the Phantoms” and “The Class.”

Ellery

Ellery is Hannah’s best friend and a more outgoing and sexually experienced foil. Ellery is the one with a connection to Deltopia, and her goal is to get Hannah to hook up with a guy.

Bones

Bones is the primary delinquent, fueled by rage and boners. His two modes are challenging authority and giving the worst advice to his best friend, Jack, about having sex.

  • The actor is also known for their role in “American Cherry.”
Deltopia 4
Bones (Hart Denton) dreaming of suburban rebellion in “Deltopia” (2023)

Review

Our Rating: Negative (Acquired Taste)

Who Is This For?

The film features young adults who might identify with high school kids in their senior year. Fans of Euphoria will also find similarities in the movie’s aesthetic and content.

Highlights

Dreamy Lighting and Cinematography Create Modern Psychedelia 

The one consistent great part about “Deltopia” is the dreamy aesthetic of its neon lighting. The movie is bathed in cool colors that transport us to a place removed from a reality that we or the characters previously knew. Directors Easterling and Ruffman seem to have more fun with the experimental aspects of “Deltopia,” like the drug sequences and music montages. They call back to “Euphoria” or “Spring Breakers,” and we’re invited into the dream they create.

Low Points

Thin Plot with a Head-Scratching Final Act

“Deltopia” sets up a potential romance between Hannah and Jack, but we only see them together briefly. There’s no explanation why these two are drawn together or a chance to develop chemistry between them. “Deltopia” is more occupied with montages of people dancing, drinking, and butts shaking. This pads its running time until suddenly the cops show up, and Bones attempts a sudden and illogical rebellion against the cops. To make the scene even funnier, the cop revolt has no repercussions for any character other than to film more stuff in slow motion.

Stereotypical Tone-Deaf Characters with Cringe Dialogue 

There are too many suspensions of disbelief and leaps of logic in order to make “Deltopia” work. From Ellery making a crude post about Hannah being single to suddenly Bones and Ellery making out at the end, the majority of the dialogue and actions feel like cliches of how men and women interact with each other. “Deltopia” wants to depict teen life, but it feels like a teen movie by out-of-touch parents.

Recommendations

If you like this movie, we recommend:

  1. Euphoria
  2. Joy Ride
  3. Talk to Me

Check out our movies page for our latest movie reviews and recommendations.

FAQs

Answers to some questions you may have regarding this movie:

The Reason The Movie Is Named “Deltopia”

“Deltopia” is named after the giant college party in the movie and the actual spring break event in real life.

Does “Deltopia” Setup A Sequel or Prequel?

Mercifully not.

Does “Deltopia” Have A Mid-Credit or End Credit Scene?

“Deltopia” shows the kids graduating from high school as the credits roll.

deltopia
Deltopia (2023) Movie Review and Summary
Overall
Writers and directors Michael Easterling and Jaala Ruffman are capable music video directors and show a flair for style, but they need a script with more substance that doesn’t feel horribly thin and outdated.
Highlights
Dreamy Lighting and  Cinematography Create Modern Psychedelia 
Disputable
Thin Plot with a Head-Scratching Final Act
Stereotypical Tone Deaf Characters with Cringe Dialogue 
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