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:: The Sentinel

When the President of the United States goes out in public it is serious business for the men and women who protect him. The Secret Service plan his every movement and check up on everyone he speaks to so they can be there when a security risk arises. So what happens if someone in the Secret Service has their own plot to assassinate him?

This is the premise of the new action thriller, The Sentinel, from Clark Johnson. This actor turned director is known for his role on Homicide: Life on the Street (1993-1999) but has since directed the 2003 film S.W.A.T and episodes of Law & Order: SVU, Third Watch and The West Wing amongst others. This film is a natural progression from his earlier work and he makes a very good job of it. Keep an eye out for his cameo appearance as Agent Merriweather.

Pete Garrison (Michael Douglas) has over twenty years of experience in the Secret Service and heads the team assigned to protecting the First Lady (Kim Bassinger). Yet this well-respected agent finds himself under suspicion and running from his own colleagues when it is discovered that someone in the service is a mole. Garrison’s former best friend and Secret Service detective, David Breckinridge (Keifer Sutherland), is put in charge of the investigation. His rookie assistant (Eva Longoria) has great admiration for both men and proves to be a valuable go-between.

This film isn’t particularly deep, but is simply good for what it is. The experienced cast play their roles with ease. Keifer Sutherland is in his comfort zone here after his experience in the television show, 24, but it is really Michael Douglas that keeps the audience interested. Eva Longoria gives a solid performance that shows she’s not just a pretty face, however she is let down by the script which doesn’t develop her potentially quite interesting character as much as it could.

The plot is fairly simple but plenty of shoot ‘em up scenes keep the excitement at a high. The Sentinel is super-American but fast-paced and very entertaining.