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...
In one of the behind-the-scenes featurettes for the film, a Secret Service consultant to the production stated that actress Eva Longoria far surpassed the other actors in "shooting school". In fact, he remarked that her score would beat about 90% of members of the Secret Service. Longoria mentioned that when she was younger she often accompanied her father to the gun range, so being around and handling guns wasn't new to her. See more »
When Michael Douglas's character Agent Garrison leaves the Las Palmas coffee shop and tries to lose the people that are following him, the undercover agent with the beard and long hair stops and looks at his colleague across the street. Next to him is a man who has just crossed the street wearing a waistcoat. It then cuts back to the man with the beard and long hair and the same man in the waistcoat appears behind him to cross the street again. See more »
[at Charlie Merriweather's house, investigating his murder]
There's no money left in his wallet, and there's been a series of robberies here the last two months. You have some reason to think it wasn't a robbery?
Well, Agent Merriweather spent the last twenty-five years honing his ability to sense danger. To notice anything outside of the ordinary. So for some average street criminal to get the drop on him? Yeah, it raises some questions.
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Spoiler. The Civil Service techno-details are excellent. The plot stinks.
Spoiler!!! Stop now if you don't know the ending. I hate Tom Cruise Mission Impossible bastardizations. In the old TV series that used to be one of my all time favorites, Mr. Phelps was the voice of God. He was the ultimate Good Guy. Cruise's updated version of MI (No. 1) turned Mr. Phelps into the Bad Guy. That's like making Tonto the Bad Guy who does in the Lone Ranger. I hate movies -- or novels -- that do that, where it turns out that the DA prosecuting the innocent accused killer turns out to have done the murder himself, or the Vice President turns out to be the mole from the whatever enemy who poisons the President -- or in the case of the Sentinel, the head of the Secret Service turns out to be the Bad Guy about to kill the Prez. I warned you, that's a huge spoiler. But to me, that kind of plot is already spoiled. As the main revelation of the movie, it stinks.
Besides that, even if you don't have any more trust in your leaders than to give credence to "Mr. Phelps" turnabouts, Sentinel has some other gaping holes just too big to let slide. Maybe, just maybe, you could buy that the First Lady is having an affair with her SS detail chief behind the Prez's back. That's not impossible. Presidents have affairs, why not First Ladies? But can you really believe a guy could rise to the top of the Service itself without ever having been fully screened? Really! You think? And what was that mystery terror organization behind the plot, and how did they get onto the SS head's entanglement with the now-defunct KGB? Hmmnh? Another poser: Can anyone explain how that Xavier loser guy got all that insider info about the First Lady's affair with Douglas to begin with -- if you tell me it was the Head of the Service feeding it to him, then why the whole rest of the movie? He would have just removed the Douglas character for cause from the outset, don't cha know? The cast was good and the acting was varsity level. I liked that Michael Douglas gets to act his age, and the plot doesn't let him get away with being a 60 year old superstud who can outrun the young agents under his charge. He is slow, and he gets winded quickly. I liked Keifer. I never watched 24, but now I think I'd like it. And it was good to see Kim Basinger again, after all those years when she dropped out.
If you ignore the plot holes and the revolting spoiler, you could really like the movie for what it shows you about the inner workings of the Secret Service, one of the all-time real success stories of government service. A Beltway insider who should know told me that that part of the film was A+, and I'll take his word for it.
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