The Sentinel (2006)
August 20th, 2007 by Maxim · No Comments · 3,131 Views
Michael Douglas is playing a Secret Service agent who was credited with saving president Raegan’s life, and the beautiful Kim Basinger is playing president’s wife. Michael Douglas (don’t remember the name of his character, Pete I think it was) is to protect the First lady. And they have an affair that probably began since before she was the First lady – we are never really told – kinda like that ridiculous movie with diCaprio and Gerard Depardieu – The Man In The Iron Mask, where d’Artagnan was banging the Queen of France… Anyway, they have only brief moments of intimacy. One of the Secret Service agents is assassinated. Next day M.D. meats with his informer, who tells him that there’s a traitor in the Secret Service. On the same day he received a package with compromising pictures of him and First Lady shot with a night-vision camera. M.D. doesn’t understand just yet what’s going on and goes on to meet with the anonymous photographer, but misses him. More agents get shot by the same assassin in the mall – apparently the assassin was following our M.D. Then the presidential helicopter is shot down with a missile, but the president and First Lady are safe. Since M.D. failed the polygraph test on the question of whether he violated the code of conduct of Secret Service – to protect his affair with Kim Basinger, he gets implicated in conspiracy to kill the president. Being in bad relationship with investigating officer played by Keifer Sutherland (because he had an affair with his wife) does not help either. So only now does M.D. realize that he is being framed, and goes on the run to prove his innocence. Secret Service is not trying to catch “their worst nightmare”.
It’s not a bad movie, but there have been better movies. Douglas, who is pretty old now but has enough experience to play this role with his eyes closed, Sutherland and Basinger – all do a fine job, but the story is not very convincing. Jack Ryan was a better Secret Service agent. The villain appears on the screen for a minute in total, so he is not developed into a supervillain that one has to be to plan assassinations of presidents. I must have dozed off when it was explained, but I didn’t get why the bad guys wanted to kill the president. The funniest part of the movie is when First Lady says the password to the agents when they are running down the utility staircase in the U.N. building. But with all the flaws of the plot, the story keeps you guessing. Not enough tension. I guess all the actors have been through this kind of movies before, so it looked like a TBS production rather then a movie for big screen. The president in this movie is not even a secondary character: he’s so far in the background I did not care if he lives or dies. The way the camera angles are changing very fast during the first 10 minutes of the movie to create the feeling of urgency, but somehow it feels like a bad music video. Well, maybe that’s an overstatement, but it felt like a cliché – an all too familiar trick for movies about agents. The music in the chase and gun fire sequences was similar to one when Neo was fighting the agents in the abandoned house in the original Matrix. Did I mention Kim Basinger was beautiful? If it wasn’t for her, this movie is completely forgettable.
I found out about Secret Service calling VIPs with names like “Cincinnati” or “The Mother” to confuse whoever can be listening to their conversations - on the Daily Show. I thought it could be a great comedic material.
Secret Service people should never get married because their families make them vulnerable. That’s why the Swiss guard who protect the Pope are unmarried. Just kidding.
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