Thursday, January 20, 2011
Day 20: The Covenant (2006)
PG-13, 1 hr. 37 min. Directed by: Renny Harlin. Release Date: September 8, 2006. DVD Release Date: January 2, 2007.
A bout with a cold turned this into a six hour experience starting at around 1:30 this morning. Whatever I caught, it's kept me awake for about an hour at a time, then I sleep for several hours. My inability to stay awake should in no way be interpreted as criticism.
This movie is cool, it's fun, and I enjoy watching it, but I'm the first to say that it's not a great movie. I've owned this on DVD for awhile and I've acquired the habit of running this movie when I want to hear the soundtrack, even though I have the songs I really like from this movie's soundtrack on my iPod. It's pretty rare that I'm so positively impacted by a movie's soundtrack (in its entirety). To my knowledge, the last time that I became so obsessed with the music in a movie was Romy & Michelle's High School Reunion. The Covenant has that whole fake-occultish thing going on, which is almost always cool and it has story elements that (supposedly) are loosely based on historical fact, i.e., the names of people and places all figure in somewhere during the Salem Witch Trials.
Add in a young, hip cast, many of whom will never see the light of day elsewhere, and some pretty slick special effects… like the Mustang scene, and you have what should be a strong project. But this project was upstaged, and I'm not entirely sure why. Admittedly, some of that young, hip cast pretty much sucks and finds work based solely on their ability to look good in a state of undress, which could tank just about anything, but I don't think there are enough of those people in this film for that to have really been a detriment. There are problems with recitation of dialogue and even some of the movements that seem like they should have been caught during editing, but weren't. But again, the poor editing shouldn't have been enough that the film project should have been derailed.
This was never going to win an Oscar. But, it could have been a much stronger action flick with some more careful work from editing and casting. It bothers me because I do like it. The Covenant is a great pick-me-up. It's simple and uncluttered by anything like ambition or delusion.