Home Movie Vault Disc Vault Coming Soon Local Scene Articles Partners About Us Contest Soundtrack
  Publicity Stills of "The Convenant"
(Courtesy from Columbia TriStar)

Genre: Thriller
Director: Renny Harlin
Cast: Steven Strait, Sebastian Stan, Toby Hemingway, and Chace Crawford
RunTime: 1 hr 37 mins
Released By: Columbia TriStar
Rating: PG

Opening 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.

The 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.

Movie Review:

This 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 watch.

(TalkingCock.com’s 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)

That 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.

You see, almost everything about this 97-minute noisy teen-trash flick would excite them. And they’d come out off the theatre really happy.

The 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.

Witchcraft, curses, powers, spiders and legacies – sounds pretty decent, you say?

Well, 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?

From there, the movie goes into ecstasy mode.

Expect 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.

Shot 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.

The 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.

Director 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.

Yes, 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.

Movie Rating:

(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)

Review by John Li

DISCLAIMER: Images, Textual, Copyrights and trademarks for the film and related entertainment properties mentioned
herein are held by their respective owners and are solely for the promotional purposes of said properties.
All other logo and design Copyright©2004-2006, movieXclusive.com™
All Rights Reserved.