Guy Ritchie is an incredibly hit-or-miss director, with movies ranging from classics to absolute piles of trash. Most commonly his hits involve gangsters and fast-talking crime lords, and his misses involve everything else. However, he’s taking another swing outside his wheelhouse with the upcoming Guy Ritchie’s The Covenant, which recently dropped a trailer and features Jake Gyllenhaal and Dar Salim.
Yes, the movie title officially has Ritchie’s name in it, which seems bold for a director who has never made a war movie before, but he is writing and directing the film so I guess he gets to slap his name on it if he wants to. The Covenant doesn’t look all that much like a Guy Ritchie movie, definitely leaning more into the war aspect and keeping his usual stylistic choices in the background. However, it’s clearly set to deliver a ton of action over being a more dramatic and stoic war tale. Turning war into action can make for a good movie if it’s balanced correctly, but often Ritchie is style over substance. So it’s hard to trust he’ll be able to balance the delicate nature not just of any war film, but a film about current events with complex character relations spread out across a conflict with a ton of complex layers.
The film features Gyllenhaal as US Army Sergeant John Kinley, who is saved by Afghan interpreter Ahmed (Salim) after they are ambushed while hunting down the Taliban. John makes it home but finds out that Ahmed is on the run for his life thanks to his role in helping the US Army, so John is forced to return to go on the hunt for him. It’s a bit of a revenge story, a bit of an action movie, and a bit of a Band of Brothers kind of thing. Joining Gyllenhaal and Salim in the film are Antony Starr, Alexander Ludwig, Bobby Schofield, with Emily Beecham, and Jonny Lee Miller. Ritchie wrote the screenplay for The Covenant alongside Ivan Atkinson & Marn Davies.
The Covenant will land in theaters on April 21.