The fifth and final part of Halo Nightfall is available to watch. I watched it very early this morning. Without giving anything away, I will say, I knew who would make it. It was apparent early on. Who stays behind, who dies. All of it made sense.
The issue with that is that it was too predictable.
Honestly, I don’t see how Nightfall plays into Locke becoming a Spartan. There is a sliver to get from this, but I won’t spoil that for you.
The CG was decent with one major exception. The Hunter worms. Often those worms looked like they were on a different lit layer that blended with the rest of the scene. It was distracting much of the time.
The performances of the actors was fine. With one exception. My opinion on this may rattle you. I was not happy with Locke. The dialog was okay. And when those lines were delivered they were okay. The issue for me comes from Mike Coulter, the actor who plays Locke. What I noticed was that he seemed to slightly bob his head a lot when other actors were talking.
I have to wonder, does he do this as a form of cadence with the other actors so he knows when to come in with his lines? When he first did this, it made some sense as it seemed he was thinking about what the other characters were saying. However, as subsequent parts came out, I noticed he was still doing the subtle head bob thing, even when not being spoken to in a manner where the head bob would be appropriate.
Am I being nit-picky here? Yep, you bet. Forward Unto Dawn was VERY well done. Unfortunately, I do not carry the same opinion about Nightfall.
The premise of the story is that a squad of ONI joins with local Sedran forces to deliver a Havoc nuke to a shard of Alpha Halo to destroy a deposit of an element that only affects humans and kills them.
Instead of immediately taking the nuke to the shard, setting it to detonate and leaving, the combined team searched for the smugglers of this element hoping to find the source of the buyer. Now, I know that was done for story, however, in ‘reality’, since ONI knew there were more than one smuggler, they could have dropped the nuke, destroyed the Halo shard, then lay in wait for the next smuggler to come around. Use their Condor (an older version of a Pelican) to disable the smuggler’s ship, capture them, then go from there.
Now, beyond the story being all too predictable, I found that the ‘second stories’ or side stories if you will, were mostly meaningless. Some could have been integrated into the episodes themselves, while others just were not essential to the story.
I’m not completely disappointed with Nightfall. But it most certainly could have been a lot better. Knowing now that principal shoot for Nightfall didn’t happen until just this summer and the production having to have a lot of CG added to it, well, again, we are left with yet another project that was rushed. This again, gave us something less than desirable.
To 343, I really need to ask, if you don’t have the time to do it right, then why do it at all. There was NO reason to rush this production. We didn’t need to learn of this story of Locke right now. It could have been played out several months from now, giving the production more time to be completed properly.
There of course were some redeeming qualities of Nightfall. I liked the characters of Aiken and Macer. I’d love to see Aiken’s backstory played out, other than just what we’ve read of him. Macer, well, I’m certain we’ll see her again. Perhaps as a partner to Locke?? That’s my guess anyway.
If this production were not labeled as ‘Halo’, it would be a reasonable ‘B’ Sci-fi movie. But since it IS labeled with ‘Halo’, I really was expecting a much better production. Especially when Ridley Scot”s name is attached to it. Would I be ashamed of Nightfall if I were Scott? No, but it certainly isn’t anywhere near his best stuff.
I really do think 343 needs to step away from everything that is NOT the next game. Make the next game as absolutely perfect as it can be, THEN work on other stuff. With the Master Chief Collection’s release woes and weeks of playing catch up with updates, and Halo 4 not living up to it’s potential over the years, well, 343 really can’t afford to make any more gaffs. I really DO want to see 343 succeed. But to do so, their main focus MUST be the next game, not TV productions, NOT a Halo Channel (which is still wonky at times), and certainly NOT farming out much of the work of their premier games to other companies, only to have to fix it later. I don’t mind Certain Affinity working on the multiplayer maps. They OWN that area of Halo, if you ask me. And I definitely didn’t mind Blur’s cinema tics for Halo 2 Anniversary. But much of the rest of the HMCC was farmed out and you know what we got.
In the instance of Nightfall, the production went to a respected director’s production house. Yet, given the very short amount of time, Nightfall fell a little flat.
Now, my attention turns toward the next TV production, that of Steven Spielberg. Is that even going anywhere now? We haven’t heard any news of this for a very long time. With H4 and the HMCC not faring so well, and with Nightfall, not being a superior quality production, well, I can easily see Spielberg pulling out. And honestly, I’m okay with that if it means then that 343 SOLELY works on Halo 5 Guardians then.