Only slightly more engaging that last month's 'old dude in distress' thriller FIREWALL, Clark Johnson's THE SENTINEL is eleven kinds of familiar. It's THE FUGITIVE, IN THE LINE OF FIRE, and a particularly dry episode of 24 all rolled into one, with a handful of strong performances, a few enticing action sequences ... and a whole lot of plot-heavy rigamarole.
Hoping to coast by on little besides pure movie star power, director Johnson (who previously gave us the alarmingly inert S.W.A.T.) and screenwriter George Nolfi (he wrote TIMELINE) ramble through their lock-step plot conventions, offering very little in the way of freshness or energy. Aside from the presence of Michael Douglas, THE SENTINEL feels a lot like a CBS Tuesday Night Movie. The main characters are one-note nothings; the villains are mysterious ciphers.
Were it not for the clever casting of Douglas and Sutherland, this thing would be an endlessly tedious piece of junk -- but that just goes to show you what a few good actors can do with a lame-o screenplay. But imagine what these guys could have done with something a little less dry, obvious, and formulaic.
Next up are four deleted scenes and an alternate ending that come with optional screenwriter commentary.
The Secret Service: Building on a Tradition of Excellence (12:57) is basically a thank you card from Fox to the Secret Service. The love-fest features interviews from Kiefer Sutherland, Michael Douglas, Eva Longoria, retired agents Gerry Cavis & Kevin Billings, and screenwriter George Nolfi.
In the President's Shadow (7:35) is more of the same.
The two featurettes combined touch briefly upon the film's production, but only inasmuch as the Secret Service is involved.
Rounding out the disc are two trailers for THE SENTINEL and a few more for THANK YOU FOR SMOKING, BEHIND ENEMY LINES 2, ROMANCING THE STONE, JEWEL OF THE NILE, and 24: SEASON 4.