Michael Douglas (The Game, A Perfect Murder) returns to the silver screen alongside Kiefer Sutherland (most recently of 24), Kim Basinger (L.A. Confidential), and Eva Longoria (Desperate Housewives) in her big screen debut. This political thriller is set in D.C., offering a glimpse inside the elite world of the Secret Service.
Douglas is Pete Garrison, a seasoned agent assigned to protect the First Family. Kiefer Sutherland plays David Breckenridge, a former protege of Garrison, and Longoria is the rookie who was trained by Garrison and now works under Breckenridge. There is an inside plot to assassinate the President and Garrison is being framed. He must save the Prez, find the mole, and clear his name while eluding the Agency. One part cat and mouse, one part political intrigue, The Sentinel, is entertaining and suspenseful. The early part of the movie offers an interesting look at the intricacies of protecting the President on a daily basis. The President and First Lady (Basinger) have their every move shadowed and their schedules are meticulously planned. The agents seem to possess the unyielding loyalty required to sacrifice their lives without a moment’s hesitation, and it’s kinda cool to get a behind the scenes look at the whole thing, although I’m not sure the depiction is totally accurate.
Without revealing too much, I’ll say that this is vintage Michael Douglas. The man has a knack for playing the guy who always gets in trouble behind a woman. See Disclosure, Fatal Attraction, and Basic Instinct for evidence of him letting his johnson get him in hot water.
The one crticism I have of The Sentinel is that the identity of the mole is not quite as mysterious as it could have been. There have been some outstanding political thrillers set in D.C. over the years like the classic No Way Out (Kevin Costner, Gene Hackman) and Suspect (Dennis Quaid, Cher). The Sentinel is not on the same level as these two, but it’s a pretty solid movie and worth a look.