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THE SENTINEL by Clark Johnson


Pete Garrison (Michael Douglas) is a Secret Service agent and is responsible for protecting the First Lady (Kim Basinger) – and he has an affair with her. When a weaselly informer tells him there is a plot to assassinate the president (David Rasche) and a traitor in the Secret Service is involved, David Breckinridge (Kiefer Sutherland) is put in charge to uncover the mole. Pete and David were best friends for 10 years – until David accused Pete of sleeping with his wife.
All agents undergo a lie detector-test, and because of his affair with the First Lady, Garrison doesn’t pass. On top of that, somebody has found out of his affair with Sarah Ballentine, the president’s wife, and attempts to blackmail him, and suddenly all evidence suggests Pete Garrison is the traitor.
Garrison goes into hiding, and David Breckinridge and rookie Jill Marin (Eva Longoria) are after him, while Garrison uses his skills to try to uncover the plot, identify the mole and find the assassins before it is too late.

The story sounds familiar, and everything you expect you will see – men in black suits wearing Ray Ban sunglasses, guns, sinister assassins, the hot but negligible sidekick (Eva Longoria), and Jack Bauer … sorry – Kiefer Sutherland in Jack Bauer-light mode.
There is a feeling of not only the TV-show 24, but also of Kevin Costner and Clint Eastwood in the air: In THE BODYGUARD, Kevin Costner wasn’t on duty when Reagan got shot – here, Michael Douglas is the Secret Service agent who took a bullet aimed at Ronald Reagan (braver than Clint Eastwood IN THE LINE OF FIRE who failed to do the same for JFK), and in NO WAY OUT, Costner was also looking for a mole while being a suspect himself.
The acting is fine – Michael Douglas is reliable as usual and in almost every scene, it’s Kiefer Sutherland’s best big-screen performance since many years, Kim Basinger does make a fine First Lady, and Eva Longoria is a reasonably hot sidekick:
the sentinel - eva longoria and kiefer sutherland
But the film itself is neither original nor remarkable, just very very average.
The best thing was really the SUPERMAN RETURNS trailer that was shown before the main feature. (Superman Returns – Kate Bosworth pictures)

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