Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn is an odd one.
It’s obviously not up to the quality of stuff made specifically for TV or cinema, but it’s far more lavish and professionally made than a lot of things made for internet consumption. It sits in a kind of no man’s land, one filled with aliens and men in generic space marine armour.
Forward Unto Dawn really solely existed to once again highlight just how badass Halo’s tonka toy protagonist Master Chief is, before his triumphant return from obscurity in last year’s Halo 4.
As such, all the other characters are window dressing for his stoic righteousness, as they quiver and quake in the face of the Covenant menace while he strides forward full of intent, like a muscular cosplaying Adonis, calmly discharging his pistol into anything alien that moves in glorious hyper dramatic slow motion.
You could imagine his muscles rippling and his hair blowing in the breeze underneath the daft green suit, like an aftershave advert.
However, before he pops in to say hi, the tale focuses on the training of a bunch of cadets, and for the first half it comes across like an ineptly written watered down version of Full Metal Jacket, full of faux inspiring militaristic claptrap and guff dialogue.
The main focus is Lasky, played by Tom Green (not moose humping Tom Green, though that would have merited the film full marks), a cadet struggling to live up to the reputation of his mother and brother, so you can pretty much determine from the off that when the going gets tough he’s going to step up. His best friend (and love interest) is Silva, played by Anna Popplewell, who was obviously kicking her heels between Narnia movies.
Other cadets are either annoying, clichéd or completely forgettable, so by the time the Covenant invades you’re actively cheering them on as they wipe out the human scum.
Forward Unto Dawn does its job though, and it’s enjoyable enough when the action really picks up and Master Chef does his thing, which is all anyone ever wants from anything Halo related anyway.
He’s so cool.