Director: Renny Harlin
Cast: Steven Strait, Sebastian Stan, Toby
Hemingway, and Chace Crawford
RunTime: 1 hr 37 mins
Released By: Columbia TriStar
Day: 2 November 2006
In 1692, in the Ipswich Colony of Massachusetts,
five families with untold power formed a covenant of silence.
One family, lusting for more, was banished - their bloodline
disappearing without a trace. Until now.
Covenant tells the story of the Sons of Ipswich, four young
students at the elite Spencer Academy who are bound by their
sacred ancestry. As descendants of the original families who
settled in Ipswich Colony in the 1600's, the boys have all
been born with special powers. When the body of a dead student
is discovered after a party, secrets begin to unravel which
threaten to break the covenant of silence that has protected
their families for hundreds of years.
reviewer was eating his dinner alone one evening, minding
his own business, when he overheard a discussion at the next
table. A group of Ah Bengs were arguing over what movie to
Coxford Singlish Dictionary tells this reviewer that an Ah
Beng is an “unsophisticated Chinese boy” who speaks
gutter Hokkien and conspicuously displays his neon-coloured
clothes and flashy accessories)
incident happened before this reviewer watched this latest
supernatural thriller directed by Renny Harlin. If he had
enough courage, he would go up to the boys and advise them
to catch this scare-less no-brainer movie.
see, almost everything about this 97-minute noisy teen-trash
flick would excite them. And they’d come out off the
theatre really happy.
story tells of four young men (aptly fitting the definition
of a western Ah Beng) who have some supernatural powers because
they are descendants of an ancient powerful England legacy.
When an evil force in the form of a fifth Ah Beng (okay, stop
this Ah Beng joke already!) threatens to upset the balance
they have been keeping, the four of them must come together
to stop this catastrophe.
curses, powers, spiders and legacies – sounds pretty
decent, you say?
to be fair, the story does try its best to intertwine some
serious ancient legend about the influential legacy, and how
the powers are passed on to future generations. But the problem
is, when all these are told in the form of texts running across
the screen within the movie’s first five minutes, you
don’t expect anyone to take them seriously, do you?
there, the movie goes into ecstasy mode.
to be deafened by revving motorcycle and car engines, blasting
rock music playing in the background courtesy of groups like
White Zombie and Jules X, and many other countless explosions
and loud effects.
in dark and gloomy hues of blue and grey, many sequences are
clearly an excuse for the visual effects artists to show off
their computer generated effects of flying water-balls, people
falling off high cliffs uninjured and blazing fires in the
Ah Bengs’ eyes (yes, we promise this is the last time
you’d see this word).
There is also some exploitation of skin here, given the scenes
where the characters, played by a relatively unknown cast,
are bathing, showering and swimming. Not that we are complaining,
because their model-perfect bodies are ogle-worthy.
same can’t be said about their acting though. Steven
Strait, who plays the male lead, is so stiff; you’d
only be paying attention to his inability to emote when he
attempts to tell you how he can save the world from evil.
Laura Remsey, who plays his love interest, fulfils her duty
of looking pretty. The only character who manages to inject
some fun is the baddie, played by a cheeky Sebastian Stan.
Harlin has helmed a few decent thrillers like Die Hard 2 (1990),
Cliffhanger (1993) and Deep Blue Sea (1999). With his latest
work, it seems like he knows the tastes of today’s MTV-generation
of young punks.
this would be the same group of people whom you’d expect
to be discussing how great this movie is straight after they
step out of the cinema.
(If you enjoy being deafened by loud and noisy movies, then
this thriller would be your thing. If not, you’d be
better off listening to the radio)
by John Li