A Shot that Missed

Even Michael Douglas and Kiefer Sutherland, as Secret Service agents in 'Sentinel,' can only do so much to save this flawed take

Review C+

April 21, 2006|By CHRIS KALTENBACH | CHRIS KALTENBACH,SUN MOVIE CRITIC

There's great fun to be had in seeing Michael Douglas and Kiefer Sutherland chew up the scenery (as well as their fellow actors) as Secret Service agents struggling to unravel a plot to assassinate the president. Too bad The Sentinel doesn't offer much more.

Instead, the movie - based on a novel by Gerald Petievich - offers a setup that inexplicably goes away about halfway through, characters who seem to have missed much of their Secret Service basic training, atmosphere that doesn't really have to do with anything and way too many guys with machine guns within easy reach of the president of the United States.

It also centers on a Secret Service guy having an affair with the first lady. Maybe I'm buying too much of all that recruitment stuff about the agents' unquestioned loyalty, but that seems like a pretty silly linchpin for a thriller.

The Sentinel (20th Century Fox) Starring Michael Douglas, Kiefer Sutherland. Directed by Clark Johnson. Rated PG-13. Time 108 minutes.

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