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» Film-Tech Forum   » Community   » The Afterlife   » The Sentinel (2006)

Author Topic: The Sentinel (2006)
Bobby Henderson
"Ask me about Trajan."

Posts: 10702
From: Lawton, OK, USA
Registered: Apr 2001

 - posted 06-26-2007 10:07 PM      Profile for Bobby Henderson   Email Bobby Henderson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The original movie review thread in the Film Handler's Movie Reviews forum is here.

Since I watched it on TV (HBO), I'm posting my review of it here in the Afterlife forum.

I mainly tuned in to see what Eva Longoria looked like playing a Secret Service agent in tight, black stretch slacks. I could give the movie two stars, one for each of her round butt cheeks. But you really only get a glimpse of that.

To be honest, this movie is worth barely 1.5 stars out of 4.

Story-wise, this movie is pretty much run of the mill. It's like a re-hash of The Fugitive with Michael Douglas playing the innocent man on the run and Kiefer Sutherland playing the Tommy Lee Jones part, but not as good as Tommy Lee Jones and not even as good as Kiefer Sutherland in 24.

I didn't feel like this movie gave any new and authentic inside look to the Secret Service. It certainly didn't do anything remotely as compelling as other movies like In the Line of Fire. The producers could have taken much of this storyline and grafted it into any police procedural drama without having to change much of anything other than character names.

Some of this movie felt a little like 24 -the bad parts of it.

24 can be compelling, but too often its characters overdose on stupid pills. They allow bad guys to easily escape and allow other people to get easily killed. They even stupidly get themselves into peril all the time. Yawn.

I was yawning when a shooter killed several people out in the open inside a mall and yet was still able to escape unseen by just changing a ball cap and jacket. In real life the shooter would have quickly been turned into Swiss cheese by a hail of bullets from fast converging cops and security guards. Just as laughable was how Kiefer Sutherland allowed Michael Douglas' character to escape on an inflatable raft. He couldn't bring himself to shoot Douglas. Why not shoot the raft? Duh!

At one point Kiefer Sutherland rips off Tommy Lee Jone's "go get him" scene from The Fugitive. Pretty stupid move on the part of the director. The Fugitive told this kind of story far better. Why make people think about that more successful movie?

The directorial style of this movie sucked it hard. Any ordinary scene like a bunch of characters getting into a motorcade or some people getting into a helicopter is overdone in the same phoney drama crap seen in any reality TV show like American Idol or Hell's Kitchen. To top of it off, the image quality was harshly contrasty with a urine colored wash all over it.

The music score was often distractingly inappropriate in style. Synth pop techno and hip hop doesn't exactly work for this kind of story.

Movies like In the Line of Fire and The Fugitive were very entertaining because they had interesting, clever and authentic story lines being driven by smart characters. The Sentinel fell well short of that standard.

The Sentinel also reveals it was written by someone who doesn't know guns very well. Any technical adviser on the set was probably going nuts.

In one early scene involving a dead secret service agent laying on his porch, Kiefer Sutherland's character "proves his point" to some cops about how the agent was assassinated by making two very wrong claims.

First, he makes a claim about a "silencer" slowing down a bullet enough that it doesn't travel deep in the wood of a door frame. A high quality suppressor, not "silencer," will take only a small bit of velocity off a fired round. You can look up videos on YouTube that show that fact in detail. A crude, plastic pop-bottle suppressor can take away a lot more speed and accuracy away from a fired bullet.

In the same scene they make an even more laughable claim about the agent's gun safety: the safety lever was in the "on" position instead of "off." Here's a news flash. The agent was carrying a SigSauer P229 -which really is standard issue for the Secret Service. That kind of pistol does not have a manual safety lever. All safeties are internal and work from the trigger.

This kind of thing would not be noticed by 99.9% of the audience. But any "techno-thriller" should have all of its techno-facts straight, especially on something like handguns. Lots of people own them and would know those bits of trivia.

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