Halo: The Fall of Reach (2015)

halo the fall of reach poster 2015 movie
6.5 Overall Score
Story: 6/10
Acting: 6/10
Visuals: 6/10

Good for fans of the series

Feels derivative of other better science-fiction

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Halo:  The Fall of Reach

Studio:  Microsoft

Genre(s):  Animated/Action/Adventure/Sci-Fi/Fantasy

Release Date(s):  October 27, 2015

MPAA Rating:  Not Rated


John-117 is kind of a dick…

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.


Ouch…it is hard to be a super-soldier

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.


Now I dub thee the Generic Green One

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.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

One Comment on "Halo: The Fall of Reach (2015)"

  1. Jack July 12, 2017 at 3:05 am - Reply

    I don’t think you’re nearly hard enough on the film. The one-dimensional characters don’t make it ‘hard’ to get into it, they make it impossible. There isn’t just a lack of moral judgement on the on kidnapping, experimentation and murder of children, there’s just redundant affirmation of the Spartan project’s morality the few times they discuss the quandary. We see 0 reaction from the the ‘wheat’ children as we are shown digital paintings of the dead ‘chaff’ children. John doesn’t show a lick of emotion until 37 minutes into the movie after a third of them are killed in the augmentation process. What about the other fucking kids when you were six, John?
    Also there’s a bunch of watering down of the violence of the actual book. For example, in the book John was first found by Halsey in the middle of a rock fight in a ghetto, not playing king of hill on a play set like in this film. I’m the film the kids save the rock right for knocking out a few soldiers during training, whereas in the book the children murder the shit out of those guys.
    The whole thing feels like it’s marketing to the age group I was when I first started playing Halo: 7 and up. I would’ve loved it then, but as an adult I cant take this adaptation seriously.
    ALSO: the animation is TERRIBLE. The image resolution doesn’t just look like a video game cinematic, it looks like an in-game-engine cinematic from 5 years ago! All the characters move like you’d expect video game characters to move. There are many, many contemporary animated works out there with VASTLY better art direction. This was an hour long marketing/exposition dump that does absolutely zero justice to the book and is not good enough to stand on its own.

Leave A Response