Given my life experience, I feel like the immigration system in our country is broken and needs to be revised. When the US military enacted its plan to leave Afghanistan, there was a lot of debate on how to help the locals who worked as interpreters as our troops did their best to liberate the region. They were told that they would get visas for them and their families after their service, but the amount of red tape involved did not necessarily deliver what was promised, and that is part of Guy Ritchie’s new film, Guy Ritchie’s The Covenant.
Sergeant John Kinley (Gyllenhaal) runs a team that looks for weapons in the Army, and after losing his interpreter is given an new one in Ahmed (Dar Salim). After a mission goes badly, Ahmed and John are the only survivors, with John getting badly injured. Ahmed helps get him to safety which gets John home, but Ahmed ends up going underground after the Taliban puts a bounty on his head. Upon learning this, John sets out on his own mission to get Ahmed and his family out of Afghanistan when he feels the system has failed.
There are a ton of small supporting roles here, but Salim and Gyllenhaal are the main characters, and while Gyllenhaal always does well I was really impressed with the performance by Salim understanding the intensity of his scenes and keeping the calm his character requires. The visuals are also very well done here, upping the intensity.
The script actually handles both parts of its story well and does so in a way that does not seem bogged down in too much detail, which kept me interested the entire time. There is a level of violence that is to be expected and does so in a way that reminded me of Lone Survivor, and that is a good thing. I really related to the secondary plot given how recently my wife and I dealt with something similar and even chuckled at how accurate the frustration we felt at times was portrayed on screen. Given all of this, I will definitely recommend Guy Ritchie’s The Covenant as the coveted rating of paying full price to see it in a theater.