Ah, Thursday evenings in the summer, when a young man’s fancy turns to the dollar theater to catch stuff that came out during the April lull. Because, you know, $1.50 for tickets and then $1 hot dogs are the perfect way to round out an evening. And these hot dogs, I thought I had remembered accurately that they were worth approximately a dollar, after a fair markup caused by people wanting to make profit off of using their labor instead of my own and all. My memory was faulty, though; I’m pretty sure $.50 would be a more fair price. ‘Cause, wow, these were bad hot dogs. And with packets of mustard from a manufacturer I’d never heard of, instead of a giant tub of squeezable. That’s just weird to me, that packet mustard could possibly be cheaper in bulk. And yet, you know it must have been, because why buy it otherwise?
Naturally, though, all of this mediocrity was counteracted by the film in question, right? The Sentinel, starring probably Michael Douglas as the titular President’s guardian (though maybe Kiefer Sutherland instead; I doubt it, but maybe) who has lasted through 25 long years of presidential details after taking a bullet for Reagan without ever once getting a real promotion, but that’s okay because he does his job for the love of his country. Unless, that is, he in fact is at the center of a diabolical plot (here, I exaggerate; it was actually a fairly generic plot, and I can’t even tell you now what the reason behind it was, other than the usual infidel pigdog claptrap you’d expect) to assassinate the current President, as everyone seems to believe. But is it he? Or the First Lady? Or Kiefer? Or one of the many other Secret Service agents around?
So, plot, editing, action sequences: all pretty pedestrian. Exactly the kind of thing that you’d expect to see in April, which makes sense. But the whodunnit portion was on the whole satisfying. I mean, rarely is the actual reveal all that satisfying, and when it is, that’s usually a great movie. But they kept the questions running through my head far longer than I’m used to, kept the possibilities open far longer than they should have been able to, and any movie where I don’t already know the entire layout by the end of minute thirty? I’m prepared to call that a pretty good movie, as long as the acting is serviceable too. And this was, so at a buck-fiddy, I’ll take what I can get. It easily topped the hot dog, value-wise.