Sentinelle (2023) 2023 / A stupidly funny spoof that could use a little more commitment and heart


In the vein of crime spoofs like The Naked Gun and The Pink Panther, Sentinelle follows a bumbling police chief who, almost purely by error, gets closer and closer to solving a complex case. Sentinelle himself is stupidly hilarious, a narcissistic dolt who unwittingly makes himself the butt of every joke. But he’s also the only person in this film who is committed to the bit—everyone else plays straight man to his foils, unwilling to participate in the cookiness the movie seems to want to achieve. It’s almost as if Sentinelle accidentally wandered onto a different set, one that’s set to make a straightforward police thriller instead of a silly little comedy. It doesn’t help that Sentinelle’s humor is the only thing he has going for him; outside of the jokes, he’s just a sketch of a character. Besides his music, what does he live for? Besides his ego, what really hurts him? He’s the saving grace of the movie, but we don’t learn enough about him to care.

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