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The Sentinel

The Sentinel

Director:Clark Johnson
Cast:Michael Douglas, Kiefer Sutherland, Eva Longoria, Martin Donovan
Release Date:2006

By Bret McCabe | Posted 4/26/2006

Living completely consumed by popular culture is ridiculous, but itís hard to resist when itís more entertaining than what fantasy makers offer. Take Clark Johnsonís thriller The Sentinel. Peter Garrison (Michael Douglas) is an older Secret Service agent, legendary in the agency because he took a bullet from John Hinckleyís gun. (In a wry bit of cinematic slight of hand, that infamous video footage of the shooting attempt that features a downed agent bleeds into Douglas in the same pose in bed.) Garrison now watches over the first lady (Kim Basinger), with whom heís started an affair. Garrison comes into the cross hairs of agent Breckinridge (Kiefer Sutherland) and his rookie partner Jill (Eva Longoria) after a different agentís murder investigation uncovers a presidential assassination plot. Slow to get its plot thickened and only modestly suspenseful once it does, The Sentinel is really but a less satisfying In the Line of Fire with much less charismatic villains. It earns some bonus points for employing Martin Donovan, though Johnson, as with every director save Hal Hartley, underuses the actorís odd charms. But as a movie in which Jack Bauer and a desperate housewife chase Gordon Gecko for shtupping Eminemís mom, it goes down very easy with popcorn.

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