The Covenant
Director: Renny Harlin (Die Hard 2, Cliffhanger, Driven, Mindhunters)
Writer: J.S. Cardone
Producers: J.S. Cardone, Tom Rosenberg, Gary Lucchesi
Starring: Steven Strait, Sebastian Stan, Laura Ramsey, Taylor Kitsch, Toby Hemingway, Jessica Lucas, Chace Crawford, Wendy Crewson
MPAA Rating: R
Running time: 87 min
read my spoiler disclaimer

     It would be much easier and cheaper to stay home and watch the WB at midnight instead of trekking all the way down to the theater to watch good looking people remove their clothing for no really good reason; and then attempt to act convincing while discussing how to kill an "evil like no other."

      The Covenant is a teen fantasy/action/horror thriller dedicated to your favorite, hip clothing store. Four boys with immense power (descending from witches of the 17th century) all happen to be the same age and attend the same private college. The more they use their power (which is very reminiscent of a dark Jedi from the Star Wars universe) the more their bodies begin to break down and they lose their power. The catch is, when they "use," it becomes more and more addicting. So nothing really happens until about an hour into the film, when we find out a fifth power is in their midst. One that is more powerful and evil. Who could the bad guy be? When we find out, more nothing good happens.

      I wouldn't go so far as to say the acting is atrocious, but depending upon which character is speaking, the performances range from pretty bad to mild mediocrity. Admittedly it isn't completely their fault; the dialogue they are forced to spew out is some of the most unoriginal and/or corny lines I've heard for months. Even the lines that aren't corny come off as empty and without feeling - almost robotic in some cases.

      Some of the effects are kind of neat but also in the trailer. The "battle" at the end, between good and evil, is a ho-hum clash of powers. The antagonist and protagonist volley several rounds of small balls of energy at each other for about 15 minutes; sending one another flying through the air before smashing into some crates or a beam. This happens over and over until one finally wins. Hooray, the movie's over! But you'll see - it's been set up for a direct to DVD sequel.

      Comparably, the film resembles, and I stress "resembles," The Lost Boys, Underworld and the WB's Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Unfortunately, The Covenant has none of the charm or postive camp of Lost Boys, none of the coolness of Underworld, and certainly none of the charm or witty dialogue of Joss Whedon's Buffy. And of course, no vampires. But the attempts made to copy the style of all of these films and shows is apparent, but miscalculated and tripe.

      The one scene that hit its mark for me, was the spider scene. But that's only because of my bias from a personal phobia (or hatred) of spiders. Still, the makers hit their mark of accomplishing what they wanted to accomplish; which was making me squirm in my seat and pull me feet from the ground just a bit. This is positive aspect of The Covenant number one of one.

      So here's the deal: teen girls who want to drool at guys walking around with their shirts off and taking showers together might create some box office numbers. The boyfriends that get dragged to this movie with their female counterpart may enjoy watching the naturally pretty girls in the movie discussing their relationship problems in their underwear. Fans of action and fantasy cool-ness (me) will be sorely let down and fans of movies with heart, plot, acting prowess and believability will be disgusted at the insult to their intelligence. Instead of joining The Covenant, I'd highly recommend you tender your resignation.

Press "PLAY" to watch the trailer

Links: - full cast and crew
Official Site