Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn
For years, Microsoft and Bungie have tried to get a Halo movie off the ground. Finally they, and their fans, are getting what they want.
This comes as no news to those who have been following the development of Halo 4. 343 Industries, the developers who have taken over the Halo franchise, announced some time ago that there was going to be a film project that bridged the story lines of the previous Halo games with the new ones. That film project took shape in a 5 episode web series called Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn.
The first episode debuted on October 5th, 2012 and there will be a new episode every Friday until the game’s release on November 6th. Why am I telling you about it? Because it’s darn good. If you love movies (especially sci-fi movies), you’re going to really enjoy this.
I know a lot of people aren’t going to give this a chance because (A) it’s a video game movie and video game movies are terrible (B) it’s a video game movie and I don’t play video games or (C) it’s a movie for Halo 4 and I haven’t played any of the Halo games — why should I jump in here and now? But you should anyway. That’s really why I’m writing about it. This web series is for anyone who enjoys TV shows like Battlestar Galactica or books like Ender’s Game. It even has moments that reminded me of Platoon and the first half of Full Metal Jacket and some of the better parts of Starship Troopers. You don’t have to have played the games to appreciate or enjoy this series. It’s a brand-new story they’re telling here. As someone who’s played the entire Halo franchise, I can even safely say I didn’t notice any Easter eggs. It’s a stand-alone story.
While the production value is astonishingly good, the series is held together by a phenomenal cast that is really a who’s-who in young character actors and rising talent. Especially noteworthy is Tom Green and Anna Popplewell. I recognized Anna immediately (she played Susan in the Narnia films and I’ve eagerly waiting to see what future adventures the Pevensies get into), but it was Tom Green who both impressed me and confused me. I knew I knew him from somewhere, but I couldn’t quite place him. A quick trip to IMDB reminded me of my daughter’s favorite new show, Dance Academy, a fun import from Down Under we recently discovered on Netflix.
Depending on when you read this, different episodes will be available. As I write this, episodes 1 and 2 are online. New episodes will be arriving every Friday until November 6th. Check it out. If you don’t now, definitely rent it later. I know the whole series is being collected for DVD. If the rest of the series plays out like these first two episodes, it’s going to be a lot of fun and will end up ranking in your “Sci-Fi Films You Cannot Miss” lists.
You can find the episode’s on MachinimaPrime’s channel on Youtube.