Monday, May 7, 2018

Halo: The Fall of Reach (2015) Through the Eyes of Cat

By Cat

Number Rolled: N/A
Movie Name/Year: Halo: The Fall of Reach (2015)
Tagline: An Unstoppable Threat. An Unthinkable Sacrifice.
Genre: Action, Animation, Sci-Fi
Length: 64 minutes
Rating: TV-14
Production Companies: Microsoft, The Sequence Group
Producers: Corrinne Robinson, Ian Kirby, Frank O'Connor, Dan Sioui, Tina Summerford, Kiki Wolfkill
Director: Ian Kirby
Writers: Heath Corson, Eric Nylund
Actors: Jen Taylor, Steve Downes, Michelle Lukes, Travis Willingham, Britt Baron, Todd Haberkorn, Cole Jensen, Matthew Waterson
Stunts:  None

Blurb from NetflixWitness the origins of Master Chief and the Spartan program as a group of children transform into enhanced soldiers and fight a powerful alien threat.

I feel I must start my review with a bit of a bone to pick with Netflix. This feature was packaged as a single film, when that really wasn’t the case. Halo: The Fall of Reach was originally released as a 3-part miniseries on The Halo Channel for people that purchased the Collectors or Legendary edition of the Halo 5 game. I didn’t find out about the discrepancy in formatting, however, until I’d already watched it and had moved into my detail-research phase in IMDb. Tsk tsk, Netflix.

Regardless of that oversight, it was a fairly seamless film. I imagine that the ‘episode’ transitions were masked by cut-aways that announced passages of time or setting shift. In that way, it was easily disguised as a single visual unit.

On to the story!

I’m going to admit up-front that I’ve never played a Halo game before. I’ve found all the hype around the game series interesting, and I’ve definitely enjoyed the Game Fuel drinks that often get released timed with new iterations. (The cherry citrus tastes like liquid skittles!) I digress. I see the commercials, and whatnot and I understand that this game series has a lot of background behind it. I imagine that it would be a pretty cool thing to learn the origins of such an integral character as Master Chief, and perhaps some of his core teammates.

Before my post-video poking around, I actually hadn’t realized that the games were adapted from books. I’m fascinated and might just add them to my reading list – albeit it might take forever and a year to get to them. My list is long.

All that being said, I can’t tell you whether or not this mini-movie lived up to the concept of Master Chief in the rest of the series – games or otherwise. I can, however, give my opinion of this story as a stand-alone from the perspective of the uninitiated.

I can sum it up by saying – it was ok. I can’t say that I haven’t seen this sort of plotline in other growing-up-military and officer-training type stories. It reminded me quite a bit of Ender’s Game (2013).

The animation wasn’t what I expected. I suppose I was looking for something shiny and precise like you usually see with some of the other video game adaptations such as Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children (2005) or Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV (2016). This film felt more like an animated painting that was leaning towards impressionistic in some places – and hyper-realism in others. There were moments of the sleek computer generated style I had expected, but it was not the overall theme.

I actually think that it set this apart a little from others in the genre. It definitely made it interesting. This film, at the very least, satisfied some of my curiosity as to the origins of the infamous game character.

All told, I wasn’t blown away or even entirely won over by this game-companion story, but I’m sure that it will be rewarding to watch for some. 


Speech Available: English (Audio Description), French, German, Italian, Spanish
Subtitles Available: English [CC] , French, Simplified Chinese, Spanish, Traditional Chinese

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – None
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 36%
Metascore – None
Metacritic User Score – None
IMDB Score – 5.6/10

Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating – 2.5/5

Movie Trailer:

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