The Covenant (2023) Review



We’ve been getting spoiled lately with some quality action pictures and Guy Ritchie’s The Covenant is another winner to add to the list. Jake Gyllenhaal once again proves what a versatile actor he is and Dar Salim deserves to become a huge star after this. It’s well-paced, faultlessly acted and has enough action to keep viewers engaged. It’s not as action-packed as say Extraction 2 but it still makes for satisfying viewing.

Plot: Guy Ritchie’s The Covenant follows US Army Sergeant John Kinley (Jake Gyllenhaal) and Afghan interpreter Ahmed (Dar Salim). After an ambush, Ahmed goes to Herculean lengths to save Kinley’s life. When Kinley learns that Ahmed and his family were not given safe passage to America as promised, he must repay his debt by returning to the war zone to retrieve them before the Taliban hunts them down first.

Review: I feel like Jake Gyllenhaal doesn’t get enough credit as an actor which is a shame as he is one of the best in the business starring in movies like Prisoners and Nightcrawler to Guy Ritchie’s latest The Covenant. I’ve been meaning to check this out for some time as it’s had positive reviews and word of mouth, so now that it’s on Prime I finally watched it the other night and it did not disappoint.

As expected Jake gives a faultless performance as Master Sergeant John Kinley who starts off wary of his interpreter Ahmed (Dar Salim) but when his unit is attacked in Afghanistan Ahmed saves Kinley from certain death. When John finds out that Ahmed is still back in Afghanistan with his family (despite the US saying they would grant them visas) John decides to go back and bring Ahmed home.

There aren’t any major surprises in terms of storytelling  but The Covenant is at times nail-bitingly intense as our two protagonists are in constant danger so there is that feeling of endless threat throughout.

This should be a star making turn for Dar Salim who is a totally incorruptible hero in this movie and we all could use a friend like Ahmed who has our backs when things go South.

Director Guy Ritchie seamlessly weaves together action, drama, and suspense, creating a movie that is both well-paced and thought-provoking. The action is visceral and scary (as it should be) but never overly graphic giving us shoot-outs and explosions but it’s the tension and characters that make this such an engaging tale. It’s not exactly Extraction 2 so don’t expect constant action or fight scenes as it’s not that kind of movie but there is enough action to keep viewers engaged.

I forgot Anthony Starr was in this as I also consider him one of the best actors working today and he deserves every accolade as he can just disappear into any role.

Overall, The Covenant is Guy Ritchie’s best film for some time with faultless performances and near-constant tension; it doesn’t have much in the way of surprises but it’s never less than entertaining.