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3.9 out of 5 stars
The Covenant
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50 of 57 people found the following review helpful
on July 31, 2007
Ok, so this movie will not change your life or inspire you to be good to mankind...what it will do is give you almost 2 hours of sheer eye candy!! The guys in this movie are seriously HOT and the story is not bad, if you are in to witchcraft and have enjoyed such movies as, Underworld, Underworld Evolution, The Lost Boys, ETC,,then you will like this one. I happen to be into this sort of stuff and really have a good time watching it. The soundtrack rocks, as well. So, people, relax...calm down,....it is just a dang movie!!! Rent it, buy it, whatever, just enjoy it and stop thinking to hard about it.
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95 of 119 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon October 19, 2007
Heterosexual director Renny (DIE HARD 2, DEEP BLUE SEA) Harlin has inexplicably slipped over to the other side with his boy-band-of-witches saga, THE COVENANT. He has taken a bunch of Aberzombies, put them in some sort of prep school and given them supernatural powers, forced them to join the swim team, and thrown a few disposable girls in for good measure. And at no point does the plot of the film or the acting interfere with the camera's view of said Aberzombies' abs.

This tale of the "Sons of Ipswitch", the gifted descendants of the founding fathers of Salem, moves along fairly briskly, with some decent effects and fun stunt work, but first and foremost, the real object of the film is to linger lasciviously upon the admirable assets of young, unironically-named Steven Strait. Seriously - the witchcraft, spiders, explosions, raves, and everything else take humble second-stage to loving shots of Strait rocking a tanktop, Strait rocking a tight v-neck t-shirt, Strait wearing a Speedo. We haven't seen male body-worship on this scale since Ryan Reynolds battled evil spirits that threatened to keep him wet and shirtless for Amityville Horror's entire running time.

Strait plays Caleb, a member of an elite band of underwear models who have gone undercover as witches at a prep school in Massachusetts. (You know, so as not to attract attention). Aside from Caleb, there's the long-haired one, the blonde one, and another one who evades description entirely, to the point that it's impossible to identify him in any group scenes. The Metrosexual trickle-down has apparently left our high schools populated by an army of pomade-enhanced, cap-sleeved man-boys who are so self-approvingly pretty that the girls in their lives can do very little to distract them from their vaguely homoerotic navel-gazing. (Whereas DAZED & CONFUSED presented teen angst in a haze of pot smoke, here it is clouded by an overabundance of Axe Body Spray.)

The plot of the film was summed up well enough in the commercials (and is ultimately too mind-numbingly simplistic to get into) -- the important thing is that in this teen witch story, the witches are the popular kids. Rather than your typical "supernaturally enhanced underdog" story (CARRIE, THE CRAFT ), here we watch four rich, white boys who clearly dominate their school and also happen to enjoy a gift that allows them to perform magic. But, watching these kids get everything they want is not nearly as compelling as watching someone who actually NEEDS this power to get back at their enemies or overturn the status quo.

The overwhelming homoeroticism of THE COVENANT includes a scene where Caleb and his best bud Pogue are talking on the phone, and both are shirtless, lying in bed, and drenched with sweat. We seriously expected the words "MEET LOCAL GUYS!" to flash across the top of the screen. There's also some locker room action featuring buns galore and a gay-baiting incident where another young man gets called a "fag" by a different long-haired boy (seriously, it's so hard to tell these guys apart...) and the young man beats his tormenter down - without actually denying the accusation. (Interestingly enough, he even makes reference to looking at the kid's manhood.) At another point an evil Aberzombie pins Caleb to the floor and kisses him on the face roughly -- In a FEAR NO EVIL kind of way, only with far more attractive men involved.

So if you are looking for a satisfying all-male companion piece to the excellent teen-witch thriller THE CRAFT, keep waiting. This isn't it... If - however - you are looking for a warm-up to wet your guests appetites as they arrive for All-Male Porno night, look no further - Renny Harlin has done an admirable job.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on March 1, 2008
The Story: In 1692, five families in the Ipswich colony of Massachusetts hold a mysterious power that they are forced to hide from society for fear of being executed of witches. To hide themselves, they form a secret Covenant which will help protect their ancestors from being hunted down.
Fast forward to the present day and four teenagers are forced to live in the modern day with these powers, though they can't resist the temptation of using them now and again. Caleb Danvers is coming up to his 18th Birthday and will thus ascend to the next level of this mysterious power, although a mysterious 5th power is seeking to destroy Caleb and take it from him.

The Review: This was a surprisingly entertaining film which, for the teenage movie genre was very unique. The friendship between the four boys, and the development of the relationship between Caleb (Strait) and Sarah (Ramsey) are in my eyes very believable which leads you into caring for these characters on another level. Being of the story behind this movie and the overall format, I felt that the director was trying way too hard to bring up the age rating by adding some random pointless nudity and language in an attempt to have it appeal to an older audience. The scene transition I felt didn't work as well as I'd hoped, some scenes will feature some really cool and memorable moments, e.g. the scene where Caleb is driving and he hits an 18 wheeler head on. This type of scene would have you think this is worthy of a 5 star rating but then the next scene would contain some extremely corny dialogue which will make you want to bury your head in your hands in shame.

Overall this is an entertaining film that you will enjoy if you don't watch it with this expectation that you're getting a 5 star script and 5 star acting.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on December 29, 2006
This supernatural thriller was a feast for the eyes, in more ways than one. The subject matter and mythology surrounding witchcraft is fascinating, and provides an intriguing background for this movie. The special effects are breathtaking and intense, and (I'm not going to lie) it doesn't hurt that the male leads are all pretty easy on the eyes.

The details of the story are difficult to explain without giving too much away. Caleb and his friends are whats known as the Sons of Ipswich. They are the first born sons of the five founding families of their town in Massechusetts. In the past, during the notorious witch hunt in Massechusetts, their families were all accused of practicing witchcraft....and their accusers were right. Caleb and his friends each possess powers and supernatural abilities beyond anything you've ever seen. When they turn 18, their powers will reach their peak potential, and they will "ascend". But as in all things in nature, there is a delicate balance that must be maintained, and these powers come with a price.

I enjoyed this film mostly for the ridiculously awesome special effects. From a cinematography standpoint, it's very well made, and if for nothing else, at least watch this movie once to see all the cool things they do with camera angles and special effects.

One of the things I liked most about this film was it's use of witchcraft mythology. Instead of the usual witchraft movies, such as "The Craft", this one used males instead of females as it's main characters/witches (I think that makes them warlocks). I found the backstory of their covenant almost more interesting than the present day story they were trying to tell. I wanted to hear more! I truly hope they make a sequel so that we can hear more witchcraft mythology, because I find it very fascinating.

Admittedly, the guys who play the lead characters *do* look like they walked right off the pages of an Abercrombie and Fitch catalog...but why is it such a bad thing that they're good looking? (also, I should confess that there is a pool scene in the film that was so obviously put there specifically to show off these guys in their bathing suits. I just thought I should have full disclosure on this issue). The lead's acting abilities also occassionally waiver (thats what happens when you use unknowns in movies) but it's not enough to warrent a big tirade. The story is still entertaining, and the characters do well with what they are given.

Also...there is definitely an abundance of girls running around in their underwear, so men shouldn't be complaining so much.

Bottom line, this movie is definitely worth checking out for it's awesome special effects, wicked cool music score, great eye candy, and intricate mythologically based storyline.
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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on December 16, 2006
First of all, the battle scene is one of the best supernatural battle scenes from a movie I've seen. The plasma and the attacks look very real. I thought that this was much better than The Craft, which is quite silly and cheesy. The cast is handsome and that always makes for a nice to watch movie. The mood created throughout is fantastic with the dark scenes, brooding buildings, quaint yet creepy town. Yeah, there's rain at night and not during the day, but who gives a freak? That's a silly thing to complain about. Movies are redundant, deal with it. Everyone expects something completely different in every single movie, but that's not the reality of the matter, so enjoy a movie for what it is, and this one is SUPERB. I thought the acting was believable and the special effects were really great and look completely realistic, which is a good thing except for the scene with the spiders. :) The soundtrack is on point, due to the fact that they got it perfectly. I recommend this movie to everyone.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on September 13, 2006
I dont feel that this film was reminiscent of The Craft. Yes it involved boys with powers but the story was completely different. i just feel that it is insulting that it was said to be a "guy version of the craft." I do agree that is wasnt the most fantastic movie out there but i loved this movie. LOVED. i was very pleased with the acting and the plot. a little underdeveloped and at times, cheesey but all in all i would spend money to see it more than once. Steven Strait really had an opportunity to showcase his talent in this film and all the other guys did well in their rolls. Watching the movie made me giddy...almost as though i was drunk on the power in the film. did i mention i loved it? getting to see all the sons of ipswich in their speedo moments didnt hurt. I didnt like the choice of Laura Ramsey to play the leading female, shes great for teen comedies but i thought she did a shabby job as a serious role. I feel that with a little more development this film could have done very very well in the box office. I know i hate to see movies i love get bashed by the press or not do too well cash wise but look at it this way, Kingdom of Heaven *directed by sir ridley scott* did badly in theatres as well but it is an amazing film. epic. romantic. well done. AMAZING. The Covenant. amazing movie. great acting. words cant tell you how much i crave for it to get 5 stars the world over.
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37 of 50 people found the following review helpful
Finnish director Renny Hurlin has helmed numerous pictures since re-locating to Hollywood. Among them are "Mindhunters," "Exorcist: The Beginning AKA Exorcist 4," "Die Hard 2," & "The Long Kiss Goodnight" with Geena Davis & Samuel L. Jackson. Enjoying pictures with a bit of magic, the supernatural or paranormal, "The Covenant" was a film I liked. Screenwriter J.S. Cardone who's done quite a few "B" flicks including "The Forsaken" & "The Marksman" perhaps has a few too many characters floating in & out, but delivers enough story to let the actors show their wares and the special effects folks to go crazy as they climax. Male model Steven Strait plays Caleb Danvers. Strait was previously in "Sky High" & "Undiscovered" & plays the lead Son of Ipswitch in this film. He comes across as a sympathetic good guy who treats his mother well, resists the dark side & likes the pretty girl. Taylor Kitsch who was in "John Tucker Must Die" plays Pogue Perry, another of the sons. In his first film, Toby Hemingway bares his backside in the boys' locker room and otherwise comes across as a rebellious teenager that we suspect as the bad guy for the middle part of the film. Sebastian Stan in his first film -- a "Law & Order" episode being a previous credit -- plays the good-looking heavy Chase Collins who comes back to exact revenge on behalf of his ancestors. He picks a fight in the locker room and makes jokes about the size of Aaron Abbott's private anatomy, which is a good way to pick a fight in a guy's locker room. Kyle Schmid who was in "A History of Violence" plays the tough looking teen who can't withstand the magical punch of Collins. When Collins knocks out lead Caleb Danvers in a swimming contest with a bit of the evil eye, the duel is set. The two female leads who were both in "She's the Man" are Laura Ramsey who plays Sarah Wenham, Caleb's fancy and Jessica Lucas who plays Pogue's sweetheart Kate Tunney. Chase shows what a bad guy he is with legions of spider tricks to bite and sideline the girls. There are several scary scenes including a "Psyco"-like shower scene where the demonic blur breaks a light bulb and a glazed-eye darkling keeps popping up in the Sons of Ipswitch's dreams. The Spencer Academy serves as a gothic setting filled with lots of rain, lightning and dark clouds. When the climactic match occurs and Sarah floats amid a flaming barn, Caleb's mother Evelyn heads off to plead with Daddy Danvers to strengthen his boy's powers during the magical duel. Wendy Crewson who has a long list of TV & film credits including a lead in the Canadian film "Suddenly Naked," "Bicentennial Man," & "To Gillian on Her 37th Birthday" plays the mother. The film roars to its climax with Collins' body disappearing to leave just enough room for a sequel should this film do well at the box-office. There are a lot of fresh faces -- not to mention fresh behinds -- in this film to probably launch a couple of careers as we look back a few years from now. It's not a complex plot, but it was well done. Enjoy!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on April 21, 2007
This should definitely be a movie that you'll see always on television. (like catwoman which is on a lot and everytime i watch it!) It's pretty good. It's about 4 witches or wizards and salem past and stuff. The effects are greeaaaaattttt. The first two minutes will show a coolness with their eyes. Love those effects. Though i think some things are missing from the movie. Like too much was cut out there should have been at least 10 more minutes of the movie for character development. The ending is terrible in the sense only the main witch dude is at the end and not the other three (one of which i don't even remember, he should have been redheaded or something.) I think the final battle scene should have included the other two guys (watch the movie o find out why Pogue couldn't be there. dumb reason for him to be where he was!!! Wasn't it obvious) And why did the villian do that to his girlfriend? there should have been a scene to better explain why b/c she liked him. I'd make the scenary more brighter and add more color. I'm interested to see what they really looked like so i'll watch the featurette. NO DELETED SCENES. BUMMER!!! It's kinda depressing with the dark blue. Very gloomy. But i guess that's the look that the Underworld producers are going for again. I hate it it just reminds you sorta a british movie like the last two harry potter movies vs. the first two.

The ending is great in that it sets you up for a sequel. I'll have to read the book and see what was left out b/c some stuff needs to be explained.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
I thought this was a stunning transfer in both picture and sound. Renee Harlin came up with a derivative yet compelling supernatural action thriller with great effects and a story that is typical teenage angst amongst the potentially eternal set. I like the fact that the powers they have come with a high price. That uniqueness alone should have set this movie above the run of the mill witchery tale. Don't know why it bombed at the box office except to say that Mr. Harlin's timing for releasing his movies (and that's probably out of his hands anyway) has been abyssmal to say the least. Let some time pass...get this visually vibrant copy of the movie and give it another chance. I like it a lot, and in the right time and place you might too. It's too bad it went the way of 'Cutthroat Island' (another one I liked, but then I liked Polanski's 'Pirates' too!) because it could have had some fun sequels.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on September 11, 2006
Before I ever allowed myself to see The Covenant, I read the many different reviews that came with the territory. Surprisingly, many folks found the movie to be lacking in plot and character development, even agreed with one another that it would be a waste of money to see. Well, considering that any movie rated poorly usually strikes my interest, I asked my brother if he wanted to go see it with me. He agreed, of course. (Supernatural flicks are his favorite.) I wasn't expecting anything special when I entered the movie theater, but folks, the truth of the matter is that my imagination, mind, and heart received exactly what I was secretly hoping for, even more. Oh, yes; I liked the movie. No, the proper word for it should be loved.

I suppose now you expect me to tell you a little bit about the plot of the movie, but guess what, folks? People have already hit that note, so I'll stray from it.

The Covenant began on an interesting note and ended on an intriguing pleasure - I was never unhappy or dissastisfied with the special effects of the movie (let's face it, hitting an 18-wheeler head-on is just about the coolest thing you could ever hope to witness in your life. At least that was the way I felt) were very believable. Even the use of their powers could very well be believable, and the fact is; I don't care who disagrees with me, and who doesn't. I loved this movie and quite frankly, I recommend it. It was well worth the money, and in my own opinion, it could very well be compared to Underworld. But as I've said, that's my opinion, and I'll keep it just as you keep yours.
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