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Halo Review: Master Chief is Solid in Series Adaptation Premiere

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Halo Review: Master Chief is Solid in Series Adaptation Premiere

Halo Review: Master Chief is Solid in Series Adaptation Premiere

Halo Review: Master Chief is Solid in Series Adaptation Premiere

Paramount+ is set to take on a monster of an adaptation with the live-action adaptation of Halo. Despite the ups and downs of the video game franchise, the fandom remains as strong as ever and to this day is still one of the most high-profile game franchises in existence.

First aimed to come to us as a feature film adaptation with big-name directors Peter Jackson and Neill Blomkamp attached to direct at one point, the developmental hurdles the film turned series are almost as painful as what the human race has seen dealing with the Covenant. It has been a long time coming for fans, but it is finally here. Was it worth the wait? Let’s talk about that.

If you are expecting a side-by-side adaptation of the video game franchise, then you might want to avert your eyes. Paramount+ certainly went with its own flair as it departs from the source material and although all the previous entries in the Halo franchise have always seemed to share the goal of providing fans with a shared universe, the series sets its own foundation to depart from.

Breaking the mold and charting its path by establishing a separate continuity from the previous source material isn’t a bad thing, as it took only one episode to appreciate the choice. The series does not lean on one sole Spartan to carry the series as the surrounding cast around the Master Chief also proves to provide great chemistry in the series (Natascha McElhone, Danny Sapani, Olive Gray, Shabana Azmi, Yerin Ha, and Charlie Murphy).

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While still staying true to the mythos of Halo, the series picks up before the events of Halo: Reach as the United Nations Space Command is still not fully aware of how much of a threat the Covenant really poses to the human race. As we deal with what will soon be minuscule threats such as rebel uprisings, we may just see some key events unfold throughout the series, most likely set within the original trilogy. That is should the series not veer from its source material too far as it follows its “silver” timeline trajectory.

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The shining beacon in this series is seeing the fan-favorite Spartan John-117/Master Chief come to life through the portrayal of Pablo Schreiber. He handles the portrayal of an iconic character seamlessly and really adapts his own persona without dishonoring the stoicism of the voice actor that helped forge Master Chief into an icon. The plot veering off the rails a bit introduces us to Schreiber’s Cadence and “the need to know more” as he has more to say than what we may be used to.

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The real-life grey area that exists in war is touched on as we are used to the front-of-the-line action with a seemingly singular goal at most times in video game entries of the franchise, the UNSC’s shadiness hasn’t always been touched on or at the forefront and we learn early on that this might be explored more in-depth in the series. In terms of violence, the series does display a level of violence that is both brutal, but sadly a bit lacking as the CGI tends to fall a bit short. It’s not an experience ruining downfall but one of the weakest points of the series.

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Even with the concerns revolving around the action and CGI, the series has set its foot down on one of the most prominent video game franchises and finds its footing by diverting from the source material just enough to bring intrigue to both current and new fans, and surrounds the series with a strong cast that is able to emulate the grand scope of the massive war between humanity and the alien threat, the Covenant.

Regardless of the miss on the picture-perfect showing, the series does enough to try to honor the franchise while being willing to put their own signature on the series to avoid a frame for frame recap of the video game franchise. This gives the series a strong opening with its own pleasures that are not dependent on the outlines of the source material.

Source: Paramount+

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