Monday, July 23, 2007

Review of "The Sentinel (2006)"

The Sentinel (2006)

Clint Eastwood was better.

Michael Douglas is a Secret Service agent, who took a bullet for Bonzo, uh, I mean Reagan. That was then, this is now. Think Clint Eastwood in the Line of Fire, except instead of John Malkovich as the antagonist, we have a Secret Service mole and instead of Renee Russo as the love interest, Michael Douglas is having an affair with a former first lady (a.k.a. whatever happened to Kim Basinger).

The director, Clark Johnson, derives most of his experience from the television series Homicide : Life on the Street (in which he starred and even directed a few episodes) and S.W.A.T. If I wanted a realistic portrayal of tactical situations and procedures, Clark Johnson would be my choice. So if I wanted to make the movie version of Rogue Spear, Splinter Cell, Full Spectrum Warrior or a remake of Navy Seals, I would call him, knowing full well the story/plot would take the last seat at the back of the bus.

The movie has a very interesting initial premise that is then beaten, rapped, spat on, urinated on and set on fire. Michael Douglas is a decorated and respected agent who suspects a mole and then becomes the suspect. This was the part that hooked me and got me to keep watching. Unfortunately, this suspense lasts approximately 10 minutes and then dives head first into the deep, shallow end of clichéd predictability. What we are left with resembles direct to video or made for TV (a.k.a. Sci-Fi Channel original minus the laughter).

Kiefer Sutherland seems to be reprising his Jack Bauer role from 24 and Eva Longoria continues her meteoric rise to mediocrity, with her non-existent (or if it exists, untapped) talent (and by talent I mean actual acting ability and not just how she looks). Martin Donovan is also in the movie, but seems to have been typecast as either a doctor or some sort of law enforcement. I loved him in Weeds, but here he (and the rest of the cast as well) is as flat as 2 day old opened soda. It is nice to see Kim Basinger in a movie, but it seemed like they got her Bowfinger style. Maybe they told her they were filming a training video??

Unless you are an insomniac, have a strange attraction to whips, chains and beatings, are wasted to the point that you can't stand or walk or are a die-hard, lifetime member of the Michael Douglas fan club, I recommend you skip this one. According to my "shot scale" this is definitely a 5 drink minimum.