A sentinel, according to some cheap online dictionary I googled, is: A look-out. A person employed to watch for something to happen. Given that, there are plenty of characters who qualify as sentinels in the Michael Douglas and Keifer Sutherland drama, The Sentinel. While some agents are watching over the Prez, others are watching out for themselves.
Apparently, some Secret Service agents are not as altruistic as we think.
The film never spends a significant amount of time developing it's characters, instead moving pretty quickly into the investigation of a plot to assassinate the President. Early in the investigation it is uncovered that a mole is working from within the Secret Service, although we are unsure who the mole is, or what the motivation of the mole might be.
Douglas plays Pete Garrison, a long-time Secret Service agent who once took a bullet for Reagan. Although the feds took a liking to Garrison for that, Pete has a habit of bending the rules, especially when a skirt is involved. As a result, Garrison has never advanced up the ranks. Could he be the mole, using greed, resentment and sex as a motivator?
Eva Longoria is a rookie agent, assigned to partner up with Sutherland's character as an investigator. She isn't given lots to do, and has no significant contribution to the flick. Except (and I don't want this to sound sexist), she sure is pretty. Maybe that's enough this early in her film career.
Sutherland plays David Breckinridge, an investigator within the Secret Service assigned to ferret out the mole. He used to be best friends with Garrison, although the two hate each other now because Breckinridge blames Garrison for the break-up of his marriage. Could he be the mole, and trying to frame Garrison as the mole out of revenge?
Kim Basinger is First Lady Sarah Ballentine. The hottest First Lady since Jackie O, Ballentine plays up her sexuality with Garrison, and seems distant and detached from her husband, the Prez. Could she be behind the plot, in order to topple her husband's career? I mean, it wouldn't be the first time...She did it to Alec Baldwin.
The Sentinel isn't a bad movie, but I thought it relied too much on characters that were superficial and not well developed. It was predictable, under-used characters and the writing was pretty typical. The flick did have me guessing through much of the first half; but in the end, after some plot devices became pretty obvious, I thought the ending was anti-climactic.