Movie Review – Guy Ritchie’s The Covenant

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I’m finding a hard time thinking of anything positive to say about this movie, with the exception of the acting. That’s where this movie shines. I’m sure Jake Gyllenhaal will get heaps of praise, as he deserves, for his performance as Sergeant John Kinley. But, I think Dar Salim—as Ahmed, the interpreter—had the harder role to work with and gave a more inspired performance.

Dar Salim’s character doesn’t have as many lines of dialog to work with. But Dar provides just the right expressions to say a lot without speaking. In particular, I noticed a few scenes where he didn’t say a word, but his eyes said volumes. That’s some outstanding acting, and of course, a nod has to be given to the direction of Guy Richie in helping the actor get there.

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For those who haven’t seen it yet, I don’t want to spoil any of the details of the movie, but I’ll say that the story wasn’t as gripping as many war movies that I’ve seen before. I feel like the characters who died weren’t fleshed out enough for me to really care that much. I didn’t know how the movie would end, but I suspected how it would end. And so there wasn’t very much drama, at least for me.

And honestly, since the movie sort of spoiled itself I’ll say it here. The mercenary/security character Parker mentions sending in an Angel of Death. As soon as he said that I knew how the movie would end and I just waited for the heroic ending.

The movie is based on a patchwork of actual events that happened during the Afghanistan war, but it is not a direct biography of actual people. Knowing that means they could have ended the movie any way they chose. I feel that it should have either been more tragic or more heartwarming. But oddly, at least to me, the story manages to thread the needle between those two.

No offense intended

I don’t have strong feelings either way regarding the Afghan war. Should we have been more involved, less involved, or not involved at all? I don’t know. But what I do know is that every American should be ashamed of how it ended, and in particular how the interpreters and their families were left twisting in the wind. That’s just not acceptable.

Every single interpreter, and as many family members as they wished to bring along, should have been relocated to American soil and given citizenship once their term was up. No exceptions. I have no problem saying that men like Ahmed deserve US citizenship more than I do. The only sacrifice I’ve had to make for my country is going out of my way to vote when the weather is bad. These guys put their lives on the line, and many of them died. And many more were murdered, along with their families, after the US pulled out. That’s just shameful.

Grade: C+

About The Peetimes: I found three good Peetimes. I would recommend the 2nd one because it’s mostly a montage and flashbacks.

There are extra scenes during, or after, the end credits of Guy Ritchie’s The Covenant.

If you want to know more about the Lockheed AC-130: The Angel of Death then check out this video.

Rated: (R) Brief Drug Content | Violence | Language Throughout
Genres: Action, Crime, Thriller
Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Alexander Ludwig, Antony Starr
Director: Guy Ritchie
Writer(s): Ivan Atkinson, Marn Davies, Guy Ritchie
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom, Spain

Guy Ritchie’s The Covenant follows US Army Sergeant John Kinley (Jake Gyllenhaal) and Afghan interpreter Ahmed (Dar Salim).

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