Yup, talk about a change of pace. There are none of the usual quippy, larger-than-life, and occasionally insufferable Guy Ritchie characters to be seen within a hundred miles of “The Covenant.” Instead, it looks like we’re set to receive a much more mature drama about a US soldier named John Kinley (Gyllenhaal), the Afghan interpreter Ahmed (Dar Salim) who saves his life during an engagement, and the epic struggle that Kinley faces to return and rescue his own rescuer before time runs out.
Perhaps the fact that “The Covenant” marks an instance where Ritchie isn’t solely credited on the screenplay has something to do with that. Ritchie directs from a script co-written by Ritchie, Ivan Atkinson, and Marn Davies that was inspired by the director’s discussions with real-life servicemen and women in the armed forces. Granted, Atkinson and Davies have collaborated with Ritchie before on films such as “Wrath of Man,” “The Gentlemen,” and the upcoming (and long-in-the-works) “Operation Fortune: Ruse de Guerre,” so perhaps this simply represents a natural turning point in Ritchie’s filmography. We’ll see just how different this film really is when “The Covenant” comes to theaters on April 21, 2023.
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.