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There are worst ways you can spend your Saturday or Sunday afternoon
Going into seeing "The Covenant," I had little expectations. I had expected this to be a big budget movie, full of action sequences and nothing else. Some parts of me believed it would be terrible, but other parts of me had hope because "Underworld," the producers of "The Covenant," was great. Honestly, I can say that I enjoyed it. There were flaws, but not enough for me to walk out or demand my money back.
In 1692, in the Ipswich Colony of Massachusetts, five families with untold power formed a covenant of silence. One family, lusting for more, was banished and their bloodline disappearing without a trace. Four young students at the elite Spencer Academy who are bound by their sacred ancestry. These boys have all been born with special powers. The powers, however, are addictive; if they use them excessively, they will start to weaken and age. The fifth "Son of Ipswich" has surfaced and has plans to destroy the other four and steal their powers for himself.
The premise had a lot of potential. I must admit it did fulfill its potential since it focused manly on the premise then the action sequences. It was more then just a good vs. evil story; it was a story about battling yourself. I liked how there was an obvious metaphor about drugs ruining your body. This should be used as life lessons for teens of today. Unfortunately, there were zero twists or surprises, which means that everything told in the trailers happened in the movie and just that; nothing more.
For a group of unknown actors, the acting could have been a lot worse. Everyone did their jobs and all made believable teenagers. Steven Strait (Caleb Danvers), Taylor Kitsch (Pogue Parry), Toby Hemingway (Reid Garwin), and Chase Crawford (Tyler Sims) played the four main characters concentrated on. Sebastian Stan (Chase Collins) plays the villain. Laura Ramsey and Jessica Lucas (Sarah Wenham and Kate Tunney), were also believable as two teenage roommates.
Some people might complain about the horrible dialog, especially coming from the character, Chase Collins. I personally enjoy it because it was very campy and comic book like. Lex Luther (Gene Hackman) and the Joker (Jack Nicholson) were like that, yet there is no one complaints. Why should you make a complain about Chase Collins? It looked like Sebastian Chase had fun with the character. Sure it was more comic book then graphic novel, "The Covenant" is based on a graphic novel, but it was still fun nonetheless.
Visually, I felt I was watching "Underworld" without the Lycans and Vampires. The special effects were decent as well. There was nothing new or revolutionary, but for a low budget movie, $20 million- low for today's standard, it was still acceptable. Most blockbuster movies run about five times that amount, and some have even reached up to ten times the amount. A final battle between Chase and Caleb reminded me of a "Street Fighter" battle, which some may complain about, that made me feel very nostalgic. The cast is loaded with eye candy for both the male and the female audience.
While "The Covenant" is placed in the action/horror/thriller genre, it should not be considered a horror. Two scenes involved spiders, which I will not reveal anymore, which would not look out of place in a classic horror movie and I was surprised how well those scenes worked. Unfortunately, other than those couple of scenes, the movie is not scary. Therefore, if you go into "The Covenant" expecting a horror you will be disappointed.
The writing could have used some improvement! They needed to spend a little more time explaining some of the subplots. One example was that the four main heroes kept referencing "darklings." We knew what they look like, but nothing else. In addition to the unexplained subplots, one of the characters, Taylor Sims, was horribly underused. I believe he only had one line in the whole movie. They could have just taken him out of the script since he had no purpose. They even left the ending open for a sequel. If they release a sequel, they should spend more time on the things mentioned above. I would be up for seeing one, though it might be more suited for a television series.
Overall, I enjoyed "The Covenant." It was not one of the better movies, but there certainly have been worse. If you enjoy movies that are part supernatural, part comic book, and part TV movie, you will like this. I could see why there were complaints, but I think those were from people that took it far too seriously. This is not a DVD worthy purchase but when going into the theater on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon, to spend your $8.50 or more, you should still consider this.
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