Space Marines vs Aliens.
That is the core idea behind HALO. A franchise that has been trying to get a live-action adaptation for years. First as a film franchise and then finally as a streaming series on the all-new Paramount+. First couple of trailers really had me thinking this was going to be a great show. Then the showrunners, Kyle Killen and Steven Kane starting indicting themselves by alleging this would not be tied to the game or really have anything to do with the popular gaming franchise that has been around for decades. Why? Because the showrunners weren’t only not fans of Halo, they literally knew next to nothing about it. Which is why they said this series would be more of its own thing but maintain “the spirit” the video game.
Whenever someone says phrases like, “its going to be it own thing” or talk about “maintaining the spirit of” you get Halle Berry’s Catwoman. And that is the best way I can describe the first season of this atrocious show. It looks like Halo, sounds like Halo, but its not.
Pablo Schreiber and Jen Taylor star as Master Chief Petty Officer John-117 and Cortana, with the latter reprising her role from the video game series, and are joined by Shabana Azmi, Natasha Culzac, Olive Gray, Yerin Ha, Bentley Kalu, Kate Kennedy, Charlie Murphy, Danny Sapani, Bokeem Woodbine, and Natascha McElhone. Development for a television series began in 2013. Killen was hired in June 2018, and the series officially announced a nine-episode order for Paramount+. Filming began in Ontario, Canada in October 2019, although post-production for the first five episodes was affected due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Filming eventually resumed in Budapest, Hungary, in February 2021.
One of the biggest things about Master Chief is the shroud of mystery and mystique of the character. The first thing the series does, is piss all of that away and has Chief take off his helmet and proceeds to have several episodes where not only does he not wear the helmet, he doesn’t even bother to wear the armored suit. It doesn’t help that Schreiber does a poor man’s Christian Bale impression that is devoid of any emotion aside from growls and robotic line delivery. Oh but hey, it gets worse.
If you hated the depiction of Master Chief in the show, don’t worry because he plays second fiddle to androgynous teenager, Kwan Ha. An original character made exclusively for the show to you know add diversity and instead of give fans space marines vs alien action, give us more insightful and emotional scenes…scenes that would even make CW cringe.
Natascha McElhone’s Dr. Halsey was a gross, almost cartoonishly evil caricature of her character from the games and as for Cortana…where do I even start. She can be thrown in with the bad CGI that really drags this show down. You can tell the CGI team blew the season’s budget on key scenes and let the rest look like cut scene from the very first X-BOX game. Also, the action just lacks impact. The Spartans range from unstoppable war machines in one episode and then idiotic buffoons the next.
The Covenant as the villains were okay I guess. Though all the aliens except for the Prophets looked laughably bad in a low-budget, like it should have been in an Asylum production kind of way, it was good that they weren’t the main focus of the season. I really wanted James Cameron’s “Aliens” level action with Marines going in and kicking all kinds of ass. However I got Alien Covenant…and no one wants Alien Covenant.
For 9 episodes, this season felt long and not in a good way. When I feel like its a chore to sit through a damn Halo show because I am desperately trying to give it a chance, that’s bad. This writer’s room was more concerned about woke ideology and inclusion than giving us just a fun, shoot em’ up action. Save the psychological human exploration shit for Star Trek. This is Halo, we want explosions.
In Conclusion, HipsterZOMBIEJoint Experience says steer away from Halo the series.