With effective and jarring war action at the beginning and the end, along with a fine performance by Jake Gyllenhaal The Covenant is a believable portrayal of the effect of working soldiers and civilians from the war in Afghanistan.
To fully appreciate The Covenant looking back at Tom Hanks’ Charlie Wilson’s War leads us to understand the determination
to crush those who might have been involved in the 9-11 tragedy in the United States and it gives the tapestry for The Covenant.
Russia is the enemy in Charlie Wilson War in which Congressman Wilson attempts to defeat the Russians by flooding money to the rebels in Afghanistan to add pressure on the Russian army. It works to the extent that Russia withdraws and the US sends in troops.
The Covenant addresses the commitment made to Afghanistan citizens who work with Americans during the time of the war and who are promised a safe landing after the war ends.
From that covenant we watch Dar Salim who plays Ahmed become the right hand of Sgt. John Kinley as the American forces attempt to root out the Taliban rebels who control much of the country.
The opening battle sets the tone and atmosphere of what a war zone can be like particularly through the use of appropriate sounds. The action is capture effectively as the Americans and Taliban ride around the country side seeking each other out for destruction. Some of the time riding in a desolate mountain land becomes repetitive and the length of time is perhaps a bit too long for the film.
The telling battles find Kinley and Ahmed separated and alone in the desert like landscape. Kinley is wounded and Ahmed is the only one available to help him. The situation reverses for the last battles in which Kinley works to help Ahmed and complete The Covenant.
The physical war scars the participants, but here the imprint of maintaining The Covenant haunts Kinley. Is it reasonable and or fair to those Afghanistan’s who help the American forces to be left behind? Therefore what is most exciting and impressive in this film is the attempt to keep The Covenant.