Sentinel (2006) – movie review

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Movie Review by Vivienne Messenger

Starring: Michael Douglas, Kiefer Sutherland, Eva Longoria, Martin Donovan

Director: Clark Johnson

Kiefer Sutherland, better known as Federal Agent Jack Bauer of the LA Counter Terrorist Unit in the award winning 24 TV series, is top investigative Secret Service agent David Breckinridge in THE SENTINEL. Here it is Michael Douglas who plays rogue agent Pete Garrison. Garrison goes on the run to clear his name when Breckinridge is sent to arrest him, seemingly the prime suspect, as a plot to assassinate the president is uncovered. This fast moving actioner unfolds to reveal that for the first time in the history of the Secret Service there is a suspected mole within their ranks and all the evidence points to Garrison.

But all is not what it seems as Garrison instigates his own covert investigation while evading capture from his former colleagues spearheaded by Breckinridge and rooky partner Jill Marin (Eva Longoria) in an attempt to flush out the mole. So who is it?

Fans of 24 will be chaffing at the bit in anticipation of seeing Kiefer Sutherland back in action, but I have to say that 24 still outranks THE SENTINEL for its intensity and hard hitting stance, though the tension does start to adrenalize you as the film progresses and there are definitely no torture scenes livening it up here.

It was a nice surprise to see David Rasche back in action as US President David Ballentine since I was a big fan of his cult TV series SLEDGE HAMMER, as the wacky police detective Sledge Hammer who would have blasted any suspect here with his Magnum.

Kim Basinger playing a very regal but adulterous First Lady Sarah Ballentine and Eva Longoria add the glamour very successfully, but I have to say that ultimately THE SENTINEL left me clamouring for the next 24 TV series and/or movie – addict that I am!

THE SENTINEL is a very watchable thriller and entertaining though it definitely is, I missed the constant adrenaline rush that 24 lavishly dishes out on a weekly basis that has you on the edge of your seat in a hot fixated sweat.

Certainly worth seeing – even if I sound like I’m going into withdrawal here for 24…

PS: Day 6 of 24 will start screening in the States and UK in January 2007.

4 out of 6 stars