‘Halo’ is one of the franchises games of all time and, in addition to garnering critical acclaim since its official debut in 2001, has become a bestseller selling over 81 million copies around the world. Years later, the Paramount+ announced the production of an ambitious and upcoming series based on the games – and after several months of waiting, the premiere episode has finally arrived on the streaming platform. streamingto the delight of fans and fans of science fiction stories.
For those unfamiliar, the story is set in the 26th century, dramatizing an epic battle between humans, who are struggling to survive the perils of space, and a dangerous alien race known as the Covenant that wants to wipe them from the face of the universe. At the center of this narrative, we have Master Chief (Pablo Schreiber), an elite soldier built by the genius and twisted mind of Dr. Catherine Elizabeth Halsey (Natascha McElhone) and will do anything to fulfill the missions given to him. However, it is clear that this well-known premise could not be the only one to populate this explosive war pantheon – and, in addition to facing the Covenant, they also deal with internal conflicts involving the intergalactic organization called the UNSC and the rebel guerrilla posts that are massacred. by government force.
With just this brief synopsis of the production, it is possible to distill several incursions that have always been part of the genre sci-fi and that, here, coalesce in a common objective – at least, they try to do that. It is not new that in futuristic onslaughts, the fight between the oppressed and the oppressors unfolds as one of the key points of the plot, as it is covered with inflections that transform social and anthropological criticisms into an audiovisual spectacle (well, let’s just remember, regarding mainstreamfrom ‘Hunger Games’ and the multiple political analyzes architected by Suzanne Collins). In a way, the reinterpretation of ‘Halo’ presents elements that follow this pattern, but, contrary to what we expected, it surrenders to some clichés that do not escape too much superficiality and that rely too much on imagery, forgetting to pay attention to the script and the development of the characters.
In any television construction (and now in streaming), the pilot is consecrated as the most important episode of the launch season, setting the tone for the following chapters and engendering several hooks that will be resolved. The opening scene is very well orchestrated by the director Otto Bathurst (‘Peaky Blinders’) and, although it lasts for a long 17 minutes, it gives us a taste of the endless war raging across the cosmos: viewers are taken to a colony planet known as Madrigal, where one of the rebels is attacked by the Covenant and nearly wiped out, leaving behind a single survivor – the young Kwan Ha (Your Place), daughter of the local leader. However, the aliens also suffer casualties with the arrival of the Spartans, a group to which the Master Chief belongs and which is feared throughout the galaxy for its incisive and bloodthirsty approach.
If the episode in question had decided to follow less daring paths, at least it would have delivered a concise and solid introductory journey that would make us buy what was sold – but the decision to make room for so many subplots prevents the protagonists and supporting actors from being properly explored, taking away much of the depth they deserve. Master Chief and Kwan Ha are exceptions to this lack of caution, despite bumping into constant formulas that serve as the basis for their complex relationship. Catherine, meanwhile, drips a sort of existential crisis that involves the creation of the AI Cortana (a clone of herself) and which, ultimately, goes nowhere for now; Miranda Keyes (Olive Gray), one of the UNSC officers, finds herself in a moral dilemma when her father receives orders to assassinate Kwan Ha, not understanding why a teenager should die just for not agreeing with the federation’s controversial cause; and so we go.
Of course, this is just the debut chapter, which is why we were able to forgive some slips in order to discover what will be explored in the following weeks – and certain aesthetic choices contribute to the advances that will come: even with a constant disregard for visual effects , the imagery separation between the rebel post and the UNSC headquarters starts from a glaring division, which bets on the impact between a yellowish and dry color palette against the sobriety of a highly technological society that holds an infinite arsenal of weapons and equipment. combat; well, the characterization of the characters already causes us an urgent distinction that unifies two opposites in a common cause.
‘Halo’ starts stumbling over his ambition; however, it is undeniable that it brings a gigantic potential that can trim the loose ends and invest more efforts in a narrative that conquered fans at the beginning of the century – and that ascended to one of the most beloved franchises in history.