The Sentinel

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The Sentinel
Review (5/10)
(By Brendan Cullin)

In The Sentinel, Michael Douglas stars as Pete Garrison, a long standing special agent to the White House and the President of the United States. Garrison has taken bullets for former Presidents but now he is guilty of taking more than bullets and thinking with the head that is not on his shoulders, if you know what I mean. As expected this has got him in some hot water. Garrison is now a prime suspect in providing information to a group attempting to assasinate the President and as a result, he is forced to go into hiding until he can prove his innocence. He is being relentlessly pursued by his former protege, Jack Bauer, and Jack's sidekick, a Desperate Housewife. The Sentinel also stars Kim Basinger as First Lady Sarah Ballentine.

I went into The Sentinel not knowing what to expect but also knowing that I generally enjoy thrillers with a political twist and lots of scandal. The combination of Michael Douglas and Jack Bauer was certainly intriguing and a little Kim Basinger doesn't hurt either. Although The Sentinel starts out on solid footing, introducing us to all the behind-the-scenes work that goes into the protection of the President (there's some interesting stuff here), throwing in a quick murder and adding a pretty ruthless bad guy, the movie soon loses steam and the last 40 minutes or so end up being your typical Hollywood drabble. You know, the cheesy dialogue, agent turning their head at just the right moment so people can sneak by, bullets conveniently hitting the bulletproof vest and fugitives escaping impossible situations. That's not to say that The Sentinel is a total disaster, because it's not. But the movie gets to a point where you can pretty much predict the outcome. There are no surprises, there is absolutely no danger and it just ends with everything wrapped up nice and neat and everyone has a big smile on their face. Yawn. It's too bad because The Sentinel sure did start out with a decent push but just lost its steam way too early.

I didn't find that the movie did a really good job of explaining what was going on either. Who were these bad guys? Why did they want the President dead (besides the obvious reasons)? What was the motive of the mole? Why did Jack Bauer colour his hair? Why didn't Jack Bauer say "I promise you..."?

In the end, The Sentinel is nothing better than a cheap rental and even that may be pushing it. This movie may do well with loyal fans of 24 but I would be surprised if any of them walk away being impressed. On a personal note, I have to say I had a bit of a hard time enjoying the screening I attended because of the three or four "critics" who felt the need to laugh out loud at inappropriate scenes throughout the movie - you know, those loud sarcastic laughs, like they could make a better movie. Yes, I thought it was funny too when Garrison was able to jump into a rubber dingy that was conveniently located at the exact spot he needed to find it to escape but did you hear me laughing out loud. Yeah, it was ridiculous that Jack Bauer was able to walk into a room and say "The phone on that table rang, the agent turned her head and Garrison snuck by" and be totally right. Ridiculous to myself, but I didn't have to laugh out loud so the whole theatre knew that I thought it was ridiculous. It's really hard to pay attention to a movie when you have these douchebags laughing out loud because they think something stupid just happened in the movie. Whether or not they were right is one thing but ruining the movie for the people sitting around them is just plain ignorant and I hope the studio stops inviting them to their screenings. Either that, or Jack Bauer hunts them down and sticks a cap in their ass.

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