The Covenant is a curio of sorts because usually, like 'em or loathe 'em, Renny Harlin movies have personality. Not so, here. Kind of like a watered down Lost Boys of Dawson's Creek, The Covenant is a bland but pretty-looking supernatural action movie.
Looks like the writer, J.S. Cardone (who directed the bland but pretty-looking vampire action movie The Forsaken a few years back), won out over the director in this case. Or maybe Harlin simply had to make an alimony payment.
In case you're wondering, The Covenant are a tight-knight group of genetically gifted warlocks enrolled at a high-end prep school in Ipswich, MA. Their magical ancestors were the founders of the colony hundreds of years ago, yet none of the mere mortal townies seem to know what's going on until a cocky new warlock called… oh, who can remember? Even though Harlin points out in the commentary that it was important to cast different-looking actors so as not to confuse the audience when ten characters are introduced within the first five minutes, I was still never really sure which vanilla actor was which until they opened their mouths to spout the standard Dialogue for Dummies.
Honestly though, I really can't say I didn't like The Covenant; I just didn't care about it one way or another. If you go in knowing you're getting a sort of "The Craft, for dudes" PG-13 flick, you might be reasonably entertained. I will say one nice thing: there's a super-cool supernatural car-wreck scene (but it was given away in the trailer, so it's nothing new for those buying the DVD).
The Covenant DVD is presented with two versions of the movie: the full frame, 1.33:1 ratio version, and the original 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen version (obviously, in a special-effects heavy movie like this, you'll want to go WS).
Audio commentary with director Renny Harlin
Breaking the Silence: Exposing The Covenant featurette
Needless to say, these featurettes are about as spiritless as the movie — lots of self-congratulations, a ton of soul-searching by the actors about how deep their characters are, and a load of back-pats for the special effects team.
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Reviewed by Staci Layne Wilson