The Sentinel is a 2006 action thriller starring Michael Douglas, Kiefer Sutherland, Eva Longoria and Kim Basinger, it is loosely based on a novel of the same name, which was written by former Secret Service Agent Gerald Petievich. Kiefer Sutherland was the first man on-board the project and was immediately requested due to his television role as Jack Bauer on smash hit show “24″. Unfortunately critics gave the film a rough time, and it didn’t do as expected at the box office making a mere $63.3 million, this being a low sum by Hollywood standards.
The veteran agent of the American secret service Pete Garrison saved the life of President Ronald Reagan in the past and became a legend. Presently he is responsible for the personal security of the American President Ballentine and the first lady Sarah Ballentine, with whom he is having a love affair.
When his informer Walter discloses that there is a traitor in the secret service and a plot to kill the president, his former friend David Breckinridge and the chief of the secret service William Montrose are in charge of the investigation and all the agents are submitted to a polygraph test. Due to his situation with Sarah, he is compromised with the results and accused of treachery. He escapes, and in spite of chased by the secret service, he conducts his own investigation trying to find the responsible.
Despite receiving criticism I found The Sentinel to be a pulse racing and extremely enjoyable experience. It isn’t a masterpiece in film, and will certainly not be going down in cinematic history, but it has a very high entertainment value. In comparison to other films, I would call it a cross between “In the Line of Fire” and “The Fugitive”, both being very good movies.
The only flaw with The Sentinel has to be the ending; I thought that it was sewn up too nicely in a neat little package, and as always that frustrated me. Unfortunately this seems to regularly be the case with the majority of films like this. Michael Douglas did a surprisingly good job considering the role would have been better suited to someone like Harrison Ford. Kiefer Sutherland was great as ever, bringing along some very welcome ruthlessness from his Jack Bauer character.
So is The Sentinel worth the price of purchase, or is it more of a rental option? My gut instinct is saying a reluctant buy, but ideally from the bargain bin if at all possible.