A Secret Service agent is framed as the mole in an assassination attempt on the President. He must clear his name and foil another assassination attempt while on the run from a Secret Service Protective Intelligence Division agent.
A man who has devoted himself to serving the leader of the free world is accused of plotting against him in this thriller. Pete Garrison (Michael Douglas) is a veteran Secret Service agent who has had a long and distinguished career helping protect the president of the United States. David Breckinridge (Kiefer Sutherland) is a fellow Secret Service agent who learned most of what he knows from Garrison and holds him in great respect. When intelligence data suggests that there is a mole within the Secret Service who is part of a plot to assassinate President Ballentine (David Rasche), Garrison launches an investigation to ferret out the rogue agent, and asks Breckinridge to go over the evidence with a fine-toothed comb. Breckinridge is shocked when the clues point to Garrison as the traitor within the Secret Service, but his sense of duty compels him to see that his former mentor is placed under arrest. Garrison eludes his captors and struggles to prove his innocence while tracking down...
"The look of this movie is one of kinetic energy," said director Clark Johnson. "That's why we used many cameras and lots of moving shots." Johnson and his director of photography, Gabriel Beristain, previously collaborated on S.W.A.T. (2003), in which they created spectacular depictions of Los Angeles in California, USA. On The Sentinel (2006), they merged the look of a big action thriller with the glamour of the White House, and a very elite law enforcement organization. "So much happens within that world," said Beristáin. "We wanted to give that world a visual style, a high beat, visual staccato. "We worked out a progression to allow us to create and have our lighting and cameras react to the action. It's a well-protected world at the beginning, with warm tones, elegant and classical camera movement. As the story becomes more ominous and nightmarish, our cameras and lighting respond to it, becoming cooler and more hectic in their movements. There are some overlaps of course. It's not a mechanical, but a philosophical process. We are thinking in terms of audience emotion. We don't want the audience to guess; we want to keep them wondering. Camera movement should not give away the story." See more »
When Pete Garrisson is being followed after sitting in the café, a pan shot of one of the followers reveals a portion of camera equipment and crew member in the reflective glass of a building. See more »
1st Lady Sarah Ballentine:
[to Agent Breckinridge]
Pete Garrison and I are having an affair. Please, have a seat...and that's for you. You know, I don't know all the evidence you have against him, but I do know why he failed the lie detector test. And I know why he was in the coffee shop looking for someone.
See more »
You'd think Michael Douglas would have learned his lesson by this time, but apparently he hasn't. For even after all the trouble he had with an adulterous romance in "Fatal Attraction," here he is in "The Sentinel" playing the role of Pete Garrison, a veteran secret service agent who's having an affair with none other than the First Lady of the United States. Even worse, when it is discovered that there may be a mole secretly operating in the service, the finger of suspicion begins to point directly at Mr. Garrison. Is he truly the undercover operative working to bring down the President, or is he merely a tool being set up as a convenient fall guy in a plot to rub out the nation's chief executive?
Based on the novel by Gerald Petievich, "The Sentinel" is a decent enough thriller set in the high stakes world of political assassination. Although it frequently strains credibility, gets lost in a maze of cyber/techno mumbo jumbo, and succumbs to a few too many man-on-the-run clichés, the movie still manages to generate enough mystery and suspense to see us through most of its many rough patches. Prime credit goes to Douglas, who after all these years, could clearly do these roles in his sleep, and to Keifer Sutherland, who plays a fellow agent with personal reasons for doubting Garrison's probity and loyalty to the institution. Kim Basinger also does a fine job as the beautiful First Lady torn between duty towards her husband and the man she loves.
You'll probably forget this movie the moment you walk out of the theater, but you should have a reasonably fun time while you're still in your seat.
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