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Overall Rating

Awesome: 20.73%
Worth A Look: 8.54%
Average: 8.54%
Pretty Bad34.15%
Total Crap: 28.05%

6 reviews, 46 user ratings

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Covenant, The
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by brianorndorf

"It's tough to be a Renny Harlin fan these days"
1 stars

Another film hidden from the sweaty grasp of film critics, “The Covenant” is the latest stop on the wildly deflating career of once-proud filmmaker Renny Harlin. While punctuated with one great Harlinesque horror sequence, this is “Lost Boys Lite,’ and littered with young actors who have no right to be acting on the big screen.

“The Covenant” doesn’t handle like the work of a director who has survived the business for over 20 years. This is the type of crude, featureless filmmaking that typically comes from a wet-behind-the-ear kid fresh from his latest Chamillionaire video shoot. Maybe this is where Renny Harlin’s deflated career is headed.

But it’s hard to stay angry at Harlin. After all, this is the guy who once turned out such unreasonably satisfying action entertainment as “Die Hard 2,” “The Long Kiss Goodnight,” and “Deep Blue Sea.” Harlin is a gifted popcorn filmmaker who has fallen on hard times recently, taking absurd director-for-hire gigs (“Exorcist: The Beginning”) that fail to offer him a scope to soothe his imagination. With “The Covenant,” Harlin hits rock bottom.

If I had the energy, I supposed I could tackle an explanation of the film’s plot. Trouble is, I’m not confident I would be anywhere near the actual story. Purportedly birthed from the mind of a Screen Gems executive, then passed down to writer J.S. Cardone (of the equally stinky vampire bomb, “The Forsaken”), “Covenant” is one kooky stab at invented mythology, where terms like “Darklings” and “Book of Damnation" help to both fake depth in this mess and cloud the minds of the audience from realizing they’re in the midst of a turkey. I’ll leave it to boy-crazy 12 year-old girls (the target demo) to decipher the actual history behind this endlessly expository garbage.

Sure, the film screams about prophecies, 400-year-old bloodlines, and magic, but essentially, “Covenant” is about young, wet, “CW” ready underwear models running around hurling “magical” gelatin blobs at each other while they compete for screen time with their own abs. Think “The Craft” plus “The Lost Boys” plus “Highlander,” minus entertainment value and fundamental storytelling clarity. Harlin at least tries to give the audience some pretty autumnal pictures, and there’s one terrific, short-lived spider attack sequence that led me to believe that he can still turn on the fear factor when he gives a damn. Mostly though, “Covenant” is a dreary September throw away (another film not screened for critics to trick you out of your money) that somehow becomes a competition over who can give the worst performance of the year midway through this bore.

Actor Steven Strait wins hands down. Think Mario Lopez crossed with Vin Diesel’s clubbed-out line delivery, and you have the bottomlessly awful Strait (“Sky High”). Like everyone else in the picture, Strait was not hired for his acting skills, but how me looks in a Speedo or glistening in bed. Too bad he’s not of much use beyond those requirements; every single scene with him forced to explain the witlessly complex plot felt like a cheese grater on my ears and eyes.

Thankfully, he’s not hung out to dry, with actor Sebastian Stan, pulling up later in the film as the bad guy, matching Strait in the “make it stop!” performance department. The film climaxes with these two duking it out with CG thunderbolts in a ratty old barn. I wished death upon both characters, and that’s not how this is supposed to work.

link directly to this review at
originally posted: 09/09/06 08:13:11
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User Comments

9/14/17 morris campbell not bad good atomosphere & effects 4 stars
9/27/08 Brandon they need to make a third one, because Chase's body was not found after the fire. 4 stars
8/17/08 Simone I actually liked it. COuld have been better though 4 stars
6/21/08 Charlene Faulk I love the movie. it is pure escapism and that is what I look for in a movie. 5 stars
6/03/08 scotty "harry potter can kiss my ass!"?!?! harry potter would ripped them in two 1 stars
2/04/08 karen usry it was good would see it again 4 stars
10/16/07 Beau An well made supernatural film, laura ramsey is great, she does so effortlessly 3 stars
9/11/07 Grayfoxx If the same set did some pron movie id actually pay to watch it. TOTAL crap tho. 1 stars
6/22/07 kate I really hope they make a sequel.They can't just end it like that and not tell what happens 5 stars
5/28/07 nikki i loved the movie but the best part of it was seeing toby hemingway the hottest actor in th 5 stars
5/18/07 Lydia since i am interested in directing a film,the used of computer impressed me in this movie 3 stars
5/07/07 Dark Enchantress sucked..i fell asleep in the middle of it 5 stars
3/12/07 carlos great movie! needs a sequel to finish it off 5 stars
3/10/07 Indrid Cold So bad, it makes "The Craft" look like a brilliant masterpiece. 2 stars
3/06/07 shannon there were some parts they could have done with out but overall its a good movie 5 stars
3/04/07 dmarketos i loved the movie too!!!!!! i hope they do make a sequel. it looks like there is 5 stars
1/21/07 Jeff Anderson It's a rip-off of THE CRAFT, but it's not bad! Harlin's visuals are striking & acting's OK. 4 stars
1/19/07 Adri This is an awesome movie, i could watch it over+over bcuz #1hottie of america Steven Strait 5 stars
1/17/07 Katy This movie was the best but specially because Steven strait is in it, he should continue to 5 stars
1/15/07 Jessi OMG! I absolutely loved this movie. I'v watched it like a million times. Loved Reid!(Toby) 5 stars
1/14/07 TRICIA NOVAKOWSKI The movie was totally awesome I hope they make a sequel soon 5 stars
1/12/07 michael they never do tell you about the "darklings" meaning. where were the other 2 at the end? 2 stars
1/09/07 ashley nice eye candy, good basic plot but they could have mabye it better a lot better! 3 stars
1/09/07 Caressa This movie was awesome one of the best ive seen in a while 5 stars
1/04/07 Brendan The look, music and action elements of the film were all awesome. Everything else sucked. 3 stars
12/06/06 alaa saleh this movie sucked..i acuatllly was laughing when everybody was screaming (2ALEEEESH)!! LOL 1 stars
12/04/06 Tara OMG this movie freaking rocked I loved it.I seen it when it came out,Still talking bout it 5 stars
11/26/06 Allan The movie was great. Ihope the make a sequel 5 stars
11/10/06 Allison Lafferty An actual ant in a coven would probably be more amusing. 2 stars
11/05/06 Shane best movie ive seen in a long time(since tokyo drift)!!!!! 5 stars
10/19/06 adrian lets see how brave yall r when u meet a real ipswitch descendant 5 stars
10/01/06 michael pretty fair 2 stars
9/22/06 Nij Terrible pile of shlock. And I love both action AND fantasy. 1 stars
9/22/06 Pritchett 'Saw it for free and STILL wanted my money back! Complete garbage..but I knew it would be. 1 stars
9/18/06 Anthony plothole movie of the century, worst acting and the script is TERRRRIBLE! 1 stars
9/15/06 scotty it sucked ass and would have worked better if they had made it a bit more soft porn 1 stars
9/15/06 Pogo I've seen better graphics on "Charmed" 1 stars
9/14/06 Brian O'Neill Lucky these guys are nice to look at. The film has no other redeeming features. 1 stars
9/13/06 Jorge Coronilla Much like "The Craft" but I liked it. 3 stars
9/12/06 Michael Coovert Pretty good movie!! I love the genre, though. Only those who do will appreciate it. 4 stars
9/11/06 kristie eye candy throughout...nothing more. 3 stars
9/11/06 erikaa th best moviee. it was wanting u to stay. for hours and watch moree. andd i loveedd it. 5 stars
9/10/06 Edison Yi wooden acting 1 stars
9/09/06 S.M. Stirling 17-year-olds acting the way they really would if they had magic powers -- flipping skirts. 3 stars
9/09/06 Darryl I saw this film tonight and I have to say it did hold my attention. Then again I am gay. 4 stars
9/09/06 Stubby From the people who brought you that flaming pile of dung called 1 stars
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  08-Sep-2006 (PG-13)
  DVD: 02-Jan-2007



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