Kiefer Sutherland adopts that pinch-nosed expression (as seen in hit series 24) to play a Secret Service agent in The Sentinel where he's pitted against a pucker-mouthed Michael Douglas as the mentor he suspects of treason. Clark Johnson directs at a breakneck pace, but despite all the running, jumping, sliding up against walls with guns cocked, and portentous taking off and putting on of sunglasses, the story is as compelling as watching the ink dry on a superfluous UN treaty.
Forget Douglas, it’s screenwriter George Nolfi (Ocean's Twelve) who’s committed the real crime in forgetting to make us care about the characters. The problems of Agent Garrison (Douglas) rapidly snowball from indiscretions with the First Lady (Kim Basinger), to the murder of his friend (a director cameo) to being framed in a plot to assassinate the president. But as he boldly throws himself in the line of fire - endeavouring to clear his name - the most pressing issue remains: how does he keep from mussing up that barnet?
When Breckenridge finally confronts Garrison it's a dead moment because none of the relationships have been fleshed out. Instead the dynamics are explained in supposed-to-be shocking twists, the least astounding of which is the unmasking of the real traitor. Garrison’s affair with the president’s wife does little to show a sympathetic side to the character and the same goes for his teacher-student relationship with Eva Longoria. (She’s just window dressing.) The relentless car chases, gun fights and explosions only amplify the tedium as every potential for genuine threat is neutralised.