Release year: 2006
Director: Renny Harlin
Screenwriter: J.S. Cardone
Starring: Steven Strait, Laura Ramsey, Sebastian Stan, Taylor Kitsch, Chace Crawford, Toby Hemmingway, Jessica Lucas
In the town of Ipswich, four popular teenage boys – Caleb (Steven Strait), Pogue (Taylor Kitsch), Reid (Toby Hemmingway), and Tyler (Chace Crwford), collectively known as the “Sons of Ipswich” – are descendants of colonial witch families, and possess magical powers. When the turn 18, their powers become more powerful, but usage of it also starts making them age faster. Close to Caleb’s ‘ascending’ supernatural occurrences of an unknown source begin happening.
As something of an action director veteran, with Die Hard 2 (1990), Cliffhanger (1993) and The Long Kiss Goodnight (1996) under his belt, one would expect a certain kind of maturity from Finnish director Harlin. But The Covenant more feels like an attempt to be young with the young, as an unfitting dance track plays in the background of a movie starring beautiful young people. Strait (10.000 BC, 2008) and Ramsey (She’s the Man, 2006) are more than decent, making the best of a story that struggles with too much predictability while it is a treat to observe Kitsch (John Carter, 2012) and Stan (Captain America: Civil War, 2016) before they hit fame. The rest of the cast deliver wooden to decent performances. The special effects are okay, but considering this is a movie about warlocks, you are left feeling so much promise was left unfulfilled. Watch it for the young, good looking cast, but don’t expect much more than a suspenseful soap opera.
Renny Harlin is known for putting titbits of Finnish culture in his movies. In The Covenant he has hung a famous Finnish painting on Sarah’s wall. It is painted by Hugo Simberg and it’s called “Haavoittunut enkeli” (“Wounded Angel”). It has an angel in it and there are two boys carrying her away.
Picture copyrights: NF Film