ARROW IN THE HEAD REVIEWS

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The Covenant (2006)
Written by: The Arrow
Director: Renny Harlin

Starring:
Steven Strait/Caleb
Sebastian Stan/Chase
Laura Ramsey/Sarah
5 10
PLOT-CRUNCH
A group of young, must be Ab-Roller abusing warlocks sees their tiny bubble burst when an evil "wizard or is it witch" joins their Prep School and starts throwing magical tantrums in the name of acquiring more powers. Time to pop that zit!
THE LOWDOWN
Renny, Renny, Renny…what are you doing man? How can the broham that gave us the tight Die Hard 2, Cliffhanger , Deep Blue Sea and The Long Kiss Goodnight put out this flatter than Hilton stuck under a boulder effort? How dammit? Personally, I didn't care to see The Covenant in the first place as it just didn’t stroke my branch or my leafs...and I'm a huge Renny Harlin fan! But in the name of the site, I forced myself to check it out and it turned out just as I expected by the trailers; average. Although sporting a tantalizing initial premise with some potential, the flick went about it all wrong as to its unraveling of events.

First it tried to be The Lost Boys for today’s generation. It even went as far as ripping off a couple of scenes from it! Problem was that The Covenant took itself way too seriously to be "fun", didn't showcase enough stand-out scenes to make any real impact and for its first hour it was akin to a Tupperware Party...yup...ALL TALK! Which leads me to its mystery angle that drove the film for the first hour. Now I love a good whodunit as much as the next cuckold but it has to be done right for it to diddle my balls. Here, it was a freaking joke. Not only was it blatantly obvious 10 minutes in as to whom was the culprit but for anybody that saw the trailer, it was a KNOWN FACT! Result;  I watched this puppy sniff its own ass in a semi detached manner, waiting for it to catch up with me already so I could give it some chow. Didn't make for an enthralling experience.

Sadly, the mystery wasn’t the only thing predictable in this playpen. Anybody that's seen "one" film of this ilk will know why its introducing so & so (plot device), why a new location is slapped in there out of left field and where the story is going WAYYYY before the film tells ya. I sure did! Again....didn't make for an enthralling experience. And what was up with the villain? Why, oh f*cking why is it that every damn time somebody is unmasked as the baddie, he/she starts machine gunning one-liners, chewing the scenery like an Ethiopian at a Chinese buffet and over acting as if his/her SAG card depended on it. WHY? Its so freaking lazy and it annoys the Night of the Living F*ck out of me. The dude (ette) here gave that broad from Urban Legend a run for her tampons in that department that’s for sure! Add to that Slim- Fast "teen hotties" characters that were so thin, I had trouble telling them apart, clumsy expositional dialogue, dumb "hip" one-liners ("Ill make you my Wee-yotch!"...COME ON!) and you get a Dawson’s Creek episode with CG and Mayo Horror in it.

With that magic wand shoved up clean up its dump truck Harry Potter hole, the flick was still fairly harmless, a tad flat but still watchable. King Kong Harlin gave us decent fear set pieces and yet another uber flashy/kinetic visual spectacle that pleasantly warmed by retinas to over-cooked. I also enjoyed the cutesy love story on display. It was just that, cute and the two leads did an admirable job with it hence keeping me somewhat invested. Furthermore, the special effects hit my mark, although too seldom and oh so CG, the creativity behind them (loved that destroyed car that re-assembled) made up for that. And thank the Goddess of my Pants for the double-downed end confrontation! Harlin FINALLY did what he does best; LET HER RIP! And rip she did! I was loving it! The outrageous tussle made for some tasty eye candy and actually gave me flashbacks of when I used to play the "Streetfighter" video game.

In conclusion, if you have to see it, tap it on DVD. Its a TV Movie of the week with visual panache, WB like leads and hardly any horror or action. Perfect for that lazy afternoon when all you want to do is watch the tube, eat nachos while getting a sloppy BJ from your neighbor who's compensating you for having borrowed a pan that she used to cook you some eggs with but never brought back. Its that kind of digs...whatever the f*ck that means...!

GORE
We get some spiders entering one's flesh, a "scary" cadaver and some light blood. Dryer than a Molson Dry (Canadian beer yo!)
ACTING
Pretty boy Steven Strait (Caleb) smartly played it down and let his abs and his good looks gap the rest. When on low jive Sebastian Stan (Chase) was pretty damn good. When on high jive, he lost me. Laura Ramsey (Sarah) was natural, likeable and a cutie to boot. Hook me up!
T & A
It was ladies/gay dudes night on this one! Mucho male abs, pecs, butts...basically a sausage factory! All I got to hold on to was a swift shot of some gal's cheeks and Laura Ramsey in her bra/undies.
DIRECTING
Harlin did what he does best; smack that bitch up. Quick cuts, zany shots, sly use of slow motion, glossy atmosphere...the movie was slicker than slick...too bad nobody was home to take the call.
SOUNDTRACK
The use of Metal, Techno and Alternative Rock hit my spot! Quite refreshing to hear in a teen orientated flick instead of the usual rap/hip hop thang.
BOTTOM LINE
The Covenant was a TV Movie of the week, shot like a music video that sported an anti-mystery and random (& too seldom) moments of CG action loving. Maybe if the characters were more developed (and I mean beyond the three leads), the story wasn't so connect the dots and the chicks would've dropped their tops, it could've popped my wood. As-is, beyond the sweet love story, the rare kool action/horror bits and the groovy end fight, it was flaccid city with occasional movement. Your call! I say rent the criminally underrated Harlin effort "Mindhunters" instead.
BULL'S EYE
The script was written by J.S. Cardone. He had already ripped off Near Dark with The Forsaken and its The Lost Boys with this one.

The flick was shot in my home town of Montreal, Canada. I actually auditionned for a role (the big dude that wons the bar with the bat) but I obvioulsy didn't get it.

VISIT THE OFFICIAL THE COVENANT SITE HERE

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3:57PM on 10/14/2006
Let me start by saying something: there are, in this film, scenes that are basically ripped off other movies and when you watch it, you will notice: The Matrix Revolutions (Neo vs. Smith), Final Destination 2 (The car accident with the van.. only it is coller and quicker here), The Ring (sudden appearances), The Grudge (shower scene).. NOT A BIT OF ORIGINALITY but, man, I did enjoy it and it was a (very) guilty pleasure.

The story is all over the place. The plot doesn't even seem to be
Let me start by saying something: there are, in this film, scenes that are basically ripped off other movies and when you watch it, you will notice: The Matrix Revolutions (Neo vs. Smith), Final Destination 2 (The car accident with the van.. only it is coller and quicker here), The Ring (sudden appearances), The Grudge (shower scene).. NOT A BIT OF ORIGINALITY but, man, I did enjoy it and it was a (very) guilty pleasure.

The story is all over the place. The plot doesn't even seem to be following a certain storyline (and there are many- I still don't know or maybe didn't care to know about the dead kid in the car and what the f*** was his story). There is style in this film, however, and plenty of eye candy. Both visually in camera work, and physically by the actors. Like the Arrow said in his review "It was ladies/gay dudes night on this one!" and I ain't a lady ;-) and Steven Strait is sure a looker.

I don't know what to add. The film is just 90 minutes of voodoo and fights a la Yu-Gi-Oh and love triangles and "some" fright moments. But it worked. And it only, and most probably worked, because I was seeing it alone and it was raining and thundering outside and I was in the mood of watching a silly movie and in the mood of not hating it despite eveything going against it.

See it on DVD..
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