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The Sentinel

The suspense movie Sentinel, released in 2006, revolves around the secret service agents deployed to protect the President of the United States. The story is based upon a novel written by Gerald Petievich-The Sentinel.

The central character of the film, Pete Garrison –played by Michael Douglas of the Fatal Attraction fame— a veteran secret service agent is having an affair with none other than the First Lady of the United States. The role of the First Lady is admirably played by Kim Basinger. She does a beautiful job as the First Lady torn between her duty towards her husband and the man she loves.

Pete is intelligent and sincere in his work. A career agent by profession, he is well liked and respected by his colleagues. Garrison heads the First Lady’s detail. He lives in a high-level, orderly and disciplined world of hierarchical structure, plans, maps, motorcades, code names, lingo and procedures. It is a life in a universe that makes sense, until some counter intelligence work begins to tear it apart. His friend and colleague Charlie Merriweather hints at wishing to share some crucial and confidential information with him, but before he does so, Merriweather is shot dead in his house and the attempt is made to make it appear as a blotched robbery.

The investigation of the murder is entrusted to a top investigating agent of the Secret Service, David Breckinridge, a hot-headed man who is known to work by book. David Breckinridge is one of Pete Garrison’s best friends and a protégé. The working style of both the friends is completely different from each other. While Breckinridge scrupulously tries to avoid listening to his gut and follows the evidence, Garrison has been trained to go purely by his instincts.

Garrison and Breckinridge fall out with each other due to the latter’s mistaken suspicion that Garrison is having an affair with his ex-wife, Jill Marin who is also an intelligent secret service agent.  The trio is entrusted to uncover a plot to assassinate the US President and the needle of suspicion points towards Garrison, who finds it extremely difficult to clear his name as he is hiding a monumental secret. He goes on the run and finally proves his loyalty by falling upon a barrage of bullets to protect the US President’s life.