Thursday, September 13, 2012

Renny Harlin Week: The Covenant

Before the Werewolf pack from Twilight, there was The Covenant!  Yeah, I went there.  Today's film- obviously- is The Covenant.  It's the tale of a bunch of buff guys that hang out together, use magic and definitely do nothing else.  I only joke about the innuendo, since the two leads- read: important characters- have love interests in the film.  Fun fact: one of them was in two famously-bad, big-budget movies this year.  The film features macho posturing, silly effects and a shit ton of color correction.  Color correction: because blue isn't blue enough!  To see this film that you probably missed in Theaters, read on...
The opening narration lays the whole thing out: there were families of witches.  Most of them are dead now.  Here are four guys that have magic powers.  Everything clear?
Our heroes are the four eldest (read: only...apparently) sons of the remaining four clans of Warlocks/Witches.  They use their powers for fun, but is there a price?
Hi, Taylor Kitsch!  On the plus side, this is the smallest blemish on your resume.  Kudos!
While the plot drags its feet, enjoy this shot of our heroes making this lady's ass flash the camera.  That's how you really use magic!
Basically, the plot is that someone is out there doing something evil as our hero approaches his 'Ascension' (read: Quickening).

I especially love this scene where they smash each other into crates and boxes...but nobody 10 feet away hears it.  Naturally.
As it turns out, the only guy that it could be is the villain.  Gee, is he from the fifth family that was supposedly dead?  Nah!
The truth is that over-using one's magic powers causes them to age prematurely.  It's basically the same idea as Satan's power usage in Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance- just with more old-age make-up.  Nice cameo, Guy Pearce!
Despite this being about, you know, the Covenant, our hero goes off to fight the villain alone.  You guys really are as useful as Werewolf Pack Members 2-4, aren't you?

Ahhhh...that Quickening!!!!
Unfortunately, this fight just boils down to the two guys throwing the water orb effects from The Abyss, flying around on wires and explosions randomly going off.  Hell, the blasts sometimes set off explosions...but not other times.

In The End, our hero wins the day, but the villain may be alive.  See you in...nothing ever again.  The End.
This is just kind of slow and silly.  Don't get me wrong- it's not terrible.  No, this film suffers from one of the bigger problems out there: it's pointless.  Is there a message?  No.  Is there a real story to tell?  No.  This movie is just a flimsy and silly pretense to show a bunch of effects.  You want silly and flimsy- hire Renny Harlin!  I kid, I kid.  If you can accept that this is a goofy film that really has no purpose, you can enjoy it quite a bit.  The characters are written broadly, the action is silly and the whole plot just meanders at its own pace.  The effects are not all that bad, but I can't exactly say that they are great.  They don't look fake- they just look silly.  I love how random the powers are and just how they are used.  You can fall without taking damage, cause a car to fly and make a lady's skirt flip up.  Do any of those things seem related to you at all? Magic is just a deus ex machina, isn't it?  For pure silly escapism, The Covenant will suffice.  For actual, quality cinema, look elsewhere.  Take us away, outfit that women only wear in movies...
Next up, a big money-loser for Harlin.  Will explosions alone save his Pirate Epic?  Stay tuned...

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