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DVD Review – The Sentinel

I’ll be honest, I had less than no interest in seeing The Sentinel when it hit theaters. I actively tried to avoid it. That was still my plan until a guy on a plane from DC to Denver told me how good it was. I broke down and added it to my queue on NetFlix.

It’s not terrible, but it’s certainly not great. Keifer Sutherland as Jack Bauer David Breckinridge, turned in the same performance he’s given for the last three seasons of 24. Michael Douglas gave the same performance he gives in every single movie he has ever been in. Kim Baisinger proved, yet again, how totally one dimensional she is. Last but not least, Eva Longoria is completely useless. If standing around looking pretty was an Olympic sport, she might be a medalist; but I don’t see any Oscars in her future.

Despite the flattest cast in a movie that I have seen in a long time, the movie was surprisingly decent. It’s not going to win any Oscars either, but it’s probably an ok way to kill two hours without feeling cheated.

The story is rather thin and revolves around a plot to assassinate the President that involves a Secret Service agent. Michael Douglas is boning the first lady, and due to an inadvertent stop in the wrong coffee shop on the wrong day ends up as the prime suspect.

The premise was solid, but I would have liked a more suspenseful movie. You knew who the killers were, you knew that Michael Douglas was hiding the affair, and you knew the back-story on the tension between Douglas and Keifer in the first five minutes of the film. I would have preferred a script that let those details out gradually.

Tell me Douglas is having an affair, but make me think it’s with Sutherland’s wife before you reveal he’s actually banging the President’s wife. Better yet, make the affair the reason for the assassination attempt, but make the bad guy the First Lady. She could want to get away from the President, but not want a messy divorce, so she gets one agent to do the dirty work while she’s servicing Douglas. As it is, the plot involves some odd reference to the former KGB and a double agent that really falls flat 15 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

In the unlikely event the guy from Greeley stumbles upon my blog, I’ll say thanks for the tip. The movie did entertain me for a while, but that was largely due to my time spent thinking of ways it could have been better.

Written by Michael Turk