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3/21/2023 • 4 min read
There's a rare cadre of creatives who get to add their names to the title of a project. Usually, the honor goes to an author like Agatha Christie, Tom Clancy, or Stephen King. The creator of Dracula was long dead when BRAM STOKER'S DRACULA was released, so the title probably didn't matter to him, but it's an honor regardless.
Now Guy Ritchie joins the club with GUY RITCHIE'S THE COVENANT. With that title, you'd expect a trademark Ritchie movie: Maybe something featuring Jason Statham in a major role, with a story built around a fast-paced and funny caper laced with action and bizarre characters.
In fact, this is a more serious movie. This new film appears to be a far more straightforward war tale in which the lives of two men become intertwined in ways that challenge them both. Here's everything we know about GUY RITCHIE'S THE COVENANT, including the first trailer.
MGM will open GUY RITCHIE'S THE COVENANT in movie theatres on April 21.
This trailer for THE COVENANT seems to sketch out most of the movie's first act, in which an American soldier recuits an Afghan local to work as a translator — or, as the man says, an interpreter — during a mission in Afghanistan. Things go wrong, and then things go wrong again, and both men find their lives turned upside down.
The main thing that stands out in this trailer, however, is that almost every element that most fans would call a signature element of Ritchie's movies is absent. This isn't a heist comedy or an action tentpole. It seems like Ritchie is specifically motivated to tell this story, and doing so means setting aside many of his quirks.
The trailer should make the basic story outline for THE COVENANT pretty clear, but we also have the official plot synopsis to fall back on:
Sergeant John, who on his last tour of duty in Afghanistan, is teamed with local interpreter Ahmed, who risks his own life to carry an injured John across miles of grueling terrain to safety.
An early trade report about this movie, back when it was using a slightly different title, says that "Ritchie was inspired to tell the compelling story after conversations with soldiers and the interpreters who risk their lives to help them." We don't have direct quotes from the filmmaker to back that up, but that serious intent certainly comes through in what we've seen so far.
Obviously, the most recognizable actor in THE COVENANT is Jake Gyllenhall. Iraqi actor Dar Salim plays Ahmed, the interpreter whose heroic actions — and the repercussions that ensue — become the motivating events of the movie.
While most of Ritchie's movies are ensemble affairs, sometimes with sprawling casts of unusual characters, THE COVENANT is comparatively compact. There is a supporting cast, of course, including Alexander Ludwig, Antony Starr, Jason Wong, Jonny Lee Miller, Bobby Schofield, Sean Sagar, Sina Parvaneh, and Emily Beecham. But the show clearly belongs to Gyllenhaal and Salim.
All images courtesy of MGM.
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