Moviewatch: "The Sentinel"
Director: Clark Johnson
Fien Print Rating (Out of 100): 42
In a Nutshell: Despite that fact that anybody with an iota of common sense knows that we've reached the point where the best television shows are probably better than all but the very best movies, folks in the film industry still treat TV with contempt. Case in point: "The Sentinel." How can you cast Kiefer Sutherland in a thriller about random Russian operatives attempting to assassinate the President of the United States? The only way you can do it is if you just assume that simply by virtue of being shown on the big screen, "The Sentinel" will naturally be better than "24." Nope. After a decent first 45 minutes, I realized that for all of the film's twisty Macguffin of a plot, the things that were taking poor Michael Douglas whole days to figure out, Jack Bauer and Chloe O'Brien would dispatch in 10 minutes and with substantially more brio. A 100 minute film cannot possibly provide the complexity or character depth of a show like "24," nor can a film like this provide the same tension and urgency of any single hour of "24." The producers of this movie were moronic enough to think this was a competition they could win, but I think the phrase, "I'd rather watch '24' for free" will be uttered by more than a few disappointed ticketholders. Want further evidence of that contempt? check out Eva Longoria, showing none of the wit and sex appeal here that she shows on "Desperate Housewives" every week. Sigh.
On An Entirely Unrelated Note: I look at my Entertainment Weekly this week and I see that Brandon Routh is on the cover. Again. I know Warner Bros. is vaguely nervous about their massive expenditure on "Superman Returns" and I know that Entertainment Weekly is a kowtowing part of the Time-Warner empire, but Brandon Routh has never been seen in a movie before and the movie he's starring in won't be out for around 10 weeks and this is already his third cover in roughly a year. That's really cheesy. Maybe they'll mix it up on put Kevin Spacey on the cover in June sometime.