Right off the bat, the trailer for The Covenant looks different than most of Guy Ritchie‘s directorial work. No whizbang camera flails, no hyper-editing jumps, no goofy heist laden with British slang that Americans will be overusing for years. It feels a lot more like American Sniper than Sherlock Holmes.
It also has all the ingredients to become your dad’s new favorite movie. US Military admiration, one man defying the odds to do his duty, and a bunch of stuff blowing up in the desert.
The Covenant is a story of revenge and brotherhood. Jake Gyllenhaal stars as Sergeant John Kinley, a JTAC (he tells the planes where to aim their guns) who’s badly injured during his last tour in Afghanistan. His interpreter, Ahmed (Dar Salim), not only saves his life but then saves it again by dragging him arduously through rough terrain toward safety, but when Sergeant Kinley returns homes, he learns that the government isn’t getting Ahmed out like they promised. Now Ahmed is in hiding from the Taliban, and Sergeant Kinley heads back into the warzone to return the life-saving favor.
They don’t claim that it’s based off a true story, but it’s certainly based off a true situation that many Afghan interpreters found and find themselves in throughout and after the US War in Afghanistan. Sending a bearded Gyllenhaal in to save his pal feels like the romanticized response to the red tape of not getting them out. Hopefully there’s an earnestness underneath all the hoo-rah here and not just another action film with emotionally-manipulative war gloss on it. Fingers crossed for some depth. The Covenant hits theaters in April.