Each week, Chris from @officialtalkintvpodcast will be recapping Halo, now streaming on Paramount+.
HALO EPISODE 2: Unbound
One thing I’m growing very tired of is Hollywood assuming the intelligence level of its audience. That intelligence level being the equivalent of a child. Time and time again the filmmakers of today feel they need to sit us down and hold our hands through every narrative twist and turn. I have been a film critic for the better part of 4 years now and I wholeheartedly believe every word of the above statement. As someone who has devoted as much time to being a student of this art form as I have, how could I think otherwise?
The studios aren’t the only guilty party. Let the audience who continue to buy and support the formulaic multi-billion dollar Marvel franchise help speak to the reasoning for this dumbed down, spoonfed approach to filmmaking. I myself am guilty. Movie-goers flock to the theaters in droves to support these stories. As do I. It works. Unfortunately, it works.
However, one thing I believe most filmmakers of today take for granted is that most audience members of franchises like Marvel do not leave the theater understanding they have just had their hand held through a 2 and a half hour long super hero epic. I believe this is because there is still some, if not much, nuisance in the Marvel approach.
In its second episode Halo brings spoon feeding to a whole new level. Masquerading as a sci-fi epic that will sweep a generation of tv watchers just as its source material did the video game world many years ago, Halo is a chilling sign of the times. Unlike its corporate cousins, there is even less below the surface with the Halo series. And, in its second episode, not even enough spectacle to satiate the masses and keep them plugged into the content machine long enough to continue to be zombified to the next episode.
Simply put, there is no nuance.
Because of this lack of nuance this show severely suffers and feels entirely surface level. Yes, on paper it has all the trappings you would both expect and want as a fan of sci-fi action, but it still falls short. This is because almost every scene tries its hardest to exposite what it NEEDS you to know and so desperately forces the audience member to feel what it NEEDS you to feel.
Yes, in my opinion, the marvel films do the same thing, but at least they have enough foresight and nuisance to trick the audience into believing that what they have just paid to see was worth their time.
All in all I’m still going to refrain from calling Halo a failure. Two episodes is not enough time to fully judge this show fairly and I respect the art of filmmaking too much to sell it that short. But, I do draw upon the Marvel comparison very early into this review series which is never a good season. I don’t draw upon this comparison because it’s easy to make, but because my tolerance for being told how intelligent I am by Hollywood is coming to an end. Halo is yet another drop in the bucket of Hollywood assuming it knows best above all else, and yet again failing to see the error of its ways.
Christian Evanko is a journalist, musician, and host of the Talkin’ TV Podcast. Christian brings his many years of experience in the entertainment industry to the stories he covers to pull back the curtain and paint a true picture of the importance of covering the arts.
Photo from IGN