In The Sentinel Michael Douglas plays a long time secret service agent who is the prime suspect in a plot to assassinate the President of the United States. On the run, he is tracked by his former protégé, a hotshot agent played by Keifer Sutherland and a rookie in the form of Desperate Housewife Eva Longoria. It’s a stylishly directed thriller that feels cobbled together from the outtakes of older, better movies like In the Line of Fire. It even borrows from so not so great movies like Murder at 1600 and The Kidnapping of the President.
Like the recent film Inside Man from Spike Lee, The Sentinel is a by- the-book b-movie that is slightly elevated by the direction. It looks great, but the clichéd scripting really deflates any excitement that Canadian director Clark Johnson gets going—we’ve simply seen these characters and situations too many times before for them to have much impact. It’s too bad that the dialogue sounds like it was ripped from the pages of a Dick Tracy comic because there are a couple of sequences that are quite exciting. A shoot-out in a busy shopping mall briefly quickens the movie’s pace but it isn’t enough to earn a recommendation.
The script is so flat it manages to make Eva Langoria seem bland, quite a feat when you have an actress who created one of the most interesting characters on prime time television in the form of the conniving Gabrielle on Desperate Housewives.
The Sentinel isn’t an awful movie, it just isn’t a very memorable or interesting one.