Halo Legends (Single-Disc Edition) (2010)

Actors: James Faulkner, Andy McAvin, Emily Neves, Deke Anderson, David Wald
Daisuke Nishio, Frank O'Connor, Hideki Futamura, Hiroshi Yamazaki, Koji Sawai
AC-3, Animated, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, DVD, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
English (Dolby Digital 5.1), Japanese (Dolby Digital 5.1)
English, French, Spanish, Japanese
1 (U.S. and Canada only)
Aspect Ratio:
Number of discs:
Warner Home Video
DVD Release Date:
February 16, 2010
Run Time:
120 minutes



Remember The Animatrix - that collection of several anime shorts made to further "flesh" out the fictional universe of the Matrix movies that went straight to DVD way back then?

Well, Halo Legends follows the same formula.

It is a collection of seven short films set in the same fictional universe of Microsoft's hugely popular Halo science fiction videogame.

The collection kicks off with Origins I & II, which come across as one of those cut scenes you must sit through to get the back-story to whichever videogame you're about to play. It's annoyingly portentous and self-important in the way only anime and some modern videogames can be. It's also set to a female voice-over designed to lull the viewer to sleep . . .

"Should I be taking notes?" I thought to myself watching this dry piece of future history about man colonizing the stars and endlessly fighting alien races as well as themselves. Replace "Covenant" with "Nazis" and you might as well be watching some dull history newsreel! Things don't get much better with the next sequence, which had me going "maybe if I knew the games better then all of this would mean something to me!" The animation style used is also murky and it is difficult to follow the action, which easily makes it the worst of all the segments contained on the disc.

And that's the problem with Halo Legends really: it is aimed squarely at die-hard Halo gamers and is almost completely inaccessible to newbies. In that way Halo Legends reminded us most of the recent meaningless and dull Battlestar Galactica: The Plan movie, which didn't even please the fans it was aimed at. Unlike the somewhat similar Dead Space: Downfall and Resident Evil: Degeneration, Halo Legends is for fans only.

However even long-time Halo fans on admitted to being disappointed. Boring and uninspiring one calls them. Uneven, says another. They are both right. The first three stories are downright awful and the rest of the stories are only passable in comparison. Best of them all is Odd One Out, a demented and humorous episode which features kids and their pet Tyrannosaurus Rex (don?t ask). It is a welcome respite from all the over-seriousness on display.

WORTH IT? Things only improve with the second batch of short films. Maybe you should skip the first handful of stories if you're already familiar with the Halo universe.

RECOMMENDATION: For die-hard fans only, but even they might be disappointed. How about making a full-length CG animated flick out of Neil (District 9) Blomkamp's unused Halo screenplay next time?



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