The good folk at Microsoft have tried numerous times to create a Halo movie but their attempts have been a decidedly mixed bag. For example, their original attempt with director Neil Blomkamp fell through with much of the props intended for it used, instead, for District Nine. Forward Unto Dawn was an excellent movie but somewhat overwrought with its attempts to tell a deep as well as engaging story about Halo.
Halo: Nightfall is another attempt at doing a Halo movie without having the budget to do it. Personally, I think the best solution would be to do an animated or CGI movie. Still, I was intrigued by the prospect of another film set in the Halo universe. The fact it would star Jessica Jones Mike Cotter as Agent Jameson Locke.
|Mike Cotter is one of the movie's few bright spots.|
Researching the toxic substance, they find out comes from a ruined fragment of the Halo ring destroyed by Master Chief in Combat Evolved, Locke's team is forced to join a group of Sedran soldiers on a joint mission to destroy the toxic substance. Tensions almost immediately rise between the two groups which threaten to explode when they're marooned on the Halo shard with monsters pursuing them as well as a ship that will only carry a few of them to safety. So what did I think? To be honest, I liked this movie better when it was called Pitch Black.
|The Elite section is one of the best parts of the movie.|
The movie is full of plot holes from beginning to end like the fact they know for a fact the mystery element is found only one place in the universe, they need to go down to the planet to deposit a nuke on it versus flying over it to drop it, that there's only two spots open on the evacuation craft despite the fact the craft had brought a horse (seriously), and other little tidbits which get routinely lost in the shuffle.
|The setting is underdeveloped but a good job.|
Steven Waddington and Mike Cotter give the only really memorable performances with the former channeling Sean Bean's Sharpe while the latter struggles to find some depth to a two-dimensional character. Christina Chong's Mace is also endearing but doesn't get much of a chance to shine. It's weird two of the most memorable performances are from a pair of Indian colonist smugglers who show some of the few cases of genuine emotion from the cast.
|Most of these people are going to die. Which is good because I really don't much care for the majority.|
I can't help but think the movie would have been actually been better if they'd attempted to focus on what actually makes Halo interesting. It's a military-science fiction shooter. With that sort of setting, shouldn't the focus be on, well, shooting? Making a B-horror movie from the material is a strange choice. The movie also treats its subject matter with dead seriousness that I can't help but think is dissonant with the material.
|Christina Chong's Mace should have had more screen time.|
Despite all this, there's some really good bits and I've watched worse science-fiction movies. Sadly, I'm of the mind this is something which I would have skipped if not for its connection to the Halo franchise. I'm glad I gave it a watch but you aren't missing much if you give this one a pass.