Halo Season One: Is it worth the reach?
Halo on Paramount+, is it worth the reach? Let me pre-face this review by saying that I'm not the biggest Halo on Xbox fan. Not because of the story or character or anything, it's because at the time that Halo was a household name for console gaming, I would get motion sickness trying to play it, so I never really got into the series like everyone else did. I did end up playing Halo: ODST but I really didn't like the mechanics of the game so I never continued playing Halo games after.
Okay, let get into a little back story, Halo the show takes place in the same universe as in the videogame, where the last remnants of humanity are fighting against an alien race call the Covenant. What's different in the game versus the show is that in the game Master Chief is the last Spartan, while on the show Master Chief leads Silver Squad, a squad of 4 Spartans. The team comprises of Jon-117 (Master Chief) played by Pablo Schreiber, Kai-125 played by Kate Kennedy, Riz-028 played by Natasha Culzac and Vannak-134 played by Bentley Kalu. The rest of the cast I wasn't too familiar with except Bokeem Woodbine who I remembered from the 1998 Mark Wahlberg movie "The Big Hit".
I'm not going to go through all the episodes but I wanted to at least review the opening scene of the first episode. The first episode opens on the the Planet Madrigal where a freedom fighter force is talking about how the UNSC (United Nations Space Command) is trying to take over and how terrible the Spartans are. This where we are introduced to the character Kwan Ha played by Yerin Ha. She's the daughter of the freedom fighter leader and is out with some friends past the walls looking for something to smoke, yea like some type of drugs or something. As they're out exploring they come across a strange ship and an excavating site. They get discovered and the aliens start attacking. Kwan Ha is the only one that gets back to the camp to worn them of the coming attack. They all think that it's the UNSC and the Spartans and this is where you first see the Covenant. They drop out of the sky and start killing everyone in sight. As the battle goes on a UNSC ship flies over and Master Chief and Silver Squad hit the ground and start battling the Covenant. This is one epic battle that I thought was done very well, especially for TV.
Some Spoilers Ahead: You've been warned!!
Now there were some controversy parts to the show that some fans didn't like. For example in the game Master Chief never took off his helmet and he didn't have a love interest. In episode 2 he takes off his helmet to prove to the now prisoner Kwan Ha that she can trust him. And he also has a love interest in the form of Makee played by Charlie Murphy, an orphaned girl who was kidnapped from a slave labor camp by the Covenant, they call her the blessed one because she shares the ability to activate the shards that lead to finding the Halo, with Master Chief. I do feel there had to be some changes to humanize Master Chief and at least get some non-gamers into watching the show. Some of my favorites parts of the show are the humanizing of the Halo World. The Soren-066 played by B. Woodbine with Kwan Ha story arc and the Kai-125 arc were what kept me coming back every week.
I don't want to go into too much detail about plot and story because I do feel it's worth the Reach. I use that reference because there is a Halo: Reach Game for all you non-gamers reading this and the planet they are on in the show is called Reach. All 9 episodes are streaming on Paramount +. Now you can sign up for the free trial for the streaming service and blow through all 9 within that time, each episode is about 45-50 long. The series kept me intrigued, the writing was good, the CGI was super cool. The acting I felt was very cold and robotic by the Spartans which I loved and everyone else's performances weren't crazy over the top. All in all I hope a second season gets green lit. As of writing this I haven't heard if they were or not.
8/10, if you're into just some decent scifi. 6/10 if you are a fan of the Halo Game
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