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Film Reviews: The Sentinel (2006) and Last Man Standing (1996)
Movies
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The Sentinel (2006). Directed by Clark Johnson. Set in present day USA, the central character is Pete Garrison (Michael Douglas) a Secret Service agent and bodyguard of the President's wife (Kim Basinger). When another Secret Service agent is murdered it seems that the group are compromised, and that there is an assassination attempt on the President being planned. The Sentinel is reasonable action fair. Along with Douglas and the fairly weak Basinger there is also Kiefer Sutherland, playing another Secret Service agent that has a history with Douglas's character. Amazingly, without giving too much of the plot away, Garrison is having an affair with the President's wife, and has also had an affair with Sutherland's character's wife. When does this guy have any time for Secret Service-ing? This particular plot point seems rather odd, and stretched credulity to breaking point. It would have been much better to have constructed some other reason for the antagonism between the two characters. As above, the rest is reasonable, with an OK story, and generic baddies (run by a Brit of course). If thin political actions dramas are your thing then you might get a kick out of it. 2/5 (Poor)

Last Man Standing (1996). Directed by Walter Hill. The film is set in 1920s Texas, in a small town on the border with Mexico. "John Smith" (Bruce Willis) drives into the town, which contains two feuding gangs. Coincidentally the beau of one of the gang leaders is crossing the road, and Smith looks for a little too long. This results in his car being damaged by some of the gang members, forcing him to stay for repairs. Smith decides to stay in the town, and use his talents to stir up trouble and make money. Last Man Standing is a great film, albeit recycles the classic story from Yojimbo (1961). Bruce Willis is superb as the gun toting mercenary, as are all the other actors within the film, including Christopher Walken as a psychotic member of one of the gangs, and Bruce Dern as the near useless sheriff. The backdrop, of the dusty grim town, is well crafted, as is the odd but surprisingly well fitting harsh overdriven electric guitar soundtrack. The semi-overdone shooting sequences are some of the best I've seen in a film, even though they break the laws of physics. Recommended for those who can cope with a gory albeit unusual spin on a mob film, and who want to remember when Bruce Willis could act. 5/5 (Excellent)
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