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A Flash Review Of HALO Episode 1

Giphy Images.

ICYMI, there is a new Halo series that premiered on Paramount+ this morning. It's been highly anticipated because Halo is a video game that people have been begging for a movie/tv adaptation. They've made a few attempts over the years, and basically all be shit. This series, though, has a budget, a real cast and all the promises that come with it. 

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After watching the first episode, I have mixed feelings. 

SPOILERS AHEAD

On the one hand, there is a lot to like. Pablo Schreiber is killing it as master chief. Seeing him without a helmet on wasn't as jarring as I thought it would be and I love how massive they made him. I also really liked how brutal they showed the covenant as, and the action was very fluid all things considered. Basically unless you are Disney throwing trillions at a star wars series, the level of VFX will be limited in any series vs how good they can be in a movie. With that in mind, i think they looked solid all things considered. The practical all looked more than fine as well. 

On the other hand, there is definitely a certain level of unavoidable cheapness that comes with it being a series. I wasn't a huge fan of the introduced insurgent character only because it takes attention away from the draw in Master Chief. I also don't particularly like having Master Chief finding forerunner stuff or going AWOL in ep 1. That's stuff that should have been saved for later seasons in my opinion. Honestly the flightpath they chose for this series is what frustrates me the most.

If you read my other blogs on the Halo series then you already know this but I was shocked they chose to start at this point in the Halo timeline. The SPARTAN II program has a crazy history that goes back well before the introduction of any aliens. They were put into action to put down rebel insurrections on human worlds, which they do reference in the first episode. So why not make season 1 an establishment of the SPARTAN II program? Show ONI kidnapping children, replacing them with flash clones(clones that die after as short time) and putting them through a brutal training program before grafting metal onto their bones, injecting shit into their blood vessels and brains and worse. Then show their early history brutally crushing human rebellions before ending the first season with the first contact with the covenant on Harvest. From there, you can have a season on the covenant, a season on the forerunners etc etc. Starting small-scale would have had a TON of benefits as well. You wouldn't have to do too many VFX aliens, no fantastical worlds, just small, practical battle and drama. Then you could parlay the success of that into a monster budget in a second season. 

Anyway, I hate being that guy complaining that a company/team/movie didn't do what I specifically wanted. I just feel like it would have made so much more sense across the board. Regardless of that, I think this episode is a solid start for the version of the Halo world they are going for. In a phrase I would say it is good but definitely not great.