Thursday, November 30, 2006


The SentinelMichael Douglas Directed by Clark Johnson
Starring Michael Douglas
Reviewed by Byron Merritt



Trying to conceive of something as insipid as THE SENTINEL would be pretty difficult. The problems are many. The result is terrible and loaded with plot holes.

Michael Douglas (BASIC INSTINCT) stars as Pete Garrison, a Secret Service agent who "took one" for Reagan during the attempt on his life. Years later we find Pete assigned to the Whitehouse Family, mainly as a guard for the First Lady (Kim Basinger, L.A. CONFIDENTIAL). Troubles arise as we see Pete’s close involvement with the First Lady, and a sudden threat against the President himself (David Rasche, UNITED 93). When Pete fails a polygraph test, he’s singled out as a disgruntled agent by investigator David Breckinridge (Kiefer Sutherland, 24 TV series).

As the presidential assassination plot unfolds, Pete finds himself on the run from his own people. His only confidant is the First Lady, and she’s reluctant to tell anyone about their affections for one another (which is why Pete failed the polygraph in the first place). But is Pete really innocent? Or is he simply trying to buy time until he can kill the President? If he is innocent, how can he help prevent the assassination attempt while running from the Secret Service?

The one, big, overwhelming problem with this film is that there’s no justification for the reason behind the presidential threat. Isn’t that what the movie’s supposed to be about? One would think so! But the audience is never let in on why the assassin(s) want to kill the Prez. Hmm. Someone forget to put that in the script somewhere?

And what’s with David Breckinridge’s (Kiefer’s) new partner, Jill Marin (
Eva Longoria, CARLITA’S SECRET)? Seems that she was put in the film strictly as a piece of ass-candy. What was her purpose again? Did she do anything other than look nice in tight pants and a low-cut blouse?

There are so many problems with the basic premise of The Sentinel as to be laughable. The action is too easily stymied by the "What the...?" responses sure to be uttered by those unfortunate enough to watch the movie.

Click here for The Sentinel movie trailer!


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