Movie Name: Halo: The Fall of Reach
Release Date(s): October 27, 2015
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Sometimes heroes aren’t born…sometimes they are made. Dr. Catherine Halsey is out to make the perfect worker. Scouting out and kidnapping children for her subjects, John-117 shows the greatest aptitude for the process and the training. John-117 could be the model for the future of the military as the Covenant begins their attack and the Master Chief is born!
Directed by Ian Kirby, Halo: The Fall of Reach is a prequel to award winning 2001 Bungie game Halo: Combat Evolved. The film adapts the 2001 sci-fi novel by Eric Nylund which was also adapted into a Marvel Comic. The movie was initially was released in three parts on the Halo Channel on October 27, 2015 to tie into the release of Halo 5: Guardians, but has been collected into one movie.
I like Halo, but I always thought the Master Chief was a generic “hero”. Halo: The Fall of Reach proves that it is a pretty generic character. Though the series is rather stylish, it still feels like a video game with plots borrowed from tons of other works of science fiction.
The story feels like Ender’s Game combined with Starship Troopers. The children are tortured as they are transformed into warriors. There is surprisingly little judgment in the film on the morals of this, and it appears at the end of the story that it is for the best since they are effective fighters in saving humanity from the Covenant. The movie is rather short and could have easily been longer and more developed.
The characters are all one dimensional stock characters. This makes it hard for you to really get into the series. If the series had spent more time developing either John-117 or Dr. Halsey, the movie would have been better…the “tragic” death of the Master Chief’s friend at the end of the film doesn’t feel tragic because you don’t have any feelings for the characters.
The movie is quite slick when you think of how far computer animation has come, but it also looks like watching a really long cut-scene of the video game. It makes me rather wish I was playing the game instead of watching it.
Halo: The Fall of Reach is a nice expansion of the Halo series, but it is also for fans only. Movies like Ender’s Game and Starship Troopers explore the concepts and ideas much better than this short film. If you’ve played through all the Halo games and need more of a Halo fix until the next game is released, check out Halo: The Fall of Reach, but don’t go in expecting to be amazed.