HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Gemini Man
End of the Century
If Beale Street Could Talk
Raining in the Mountain
Day Shall Come, The
Scandal
Buzzard
Race for Your Life, Charlie Brown
Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon, A
Sons of Denmark
Light of My Life
Umbrellas of Cherbourg, The
Jerky Boys, The
Chambre en Ville, Une
Joker
Relaxer
Mustang, The
Baie des Anges, La
Ready or Not
Seven Days in May
Bliss
Hollywood Shuffle
Uncut Gems
Wilt
Daniel Isn't Real
Presidio, The
Curvature
Puzzle
Farewell, The
Challenge of the Tiger
Ad Astra
Winslow Boy, The
Pain and Glory
Judgment at Nuremberg
Rambo: Last Blood
Sansho the Bailiff
Iron Fury
Ride in the Whirlwind
Deathstalker II
Cloak and Dagger
   
 
Newest Articles
Demy-Wave: The Essential Jacques Demy on Blu-ray
The Makings of a Winner: Play It Cool! on Blu-ray
Sony Channel's Before They Were Famous: A Galaxy of Stars
Start Worrying and Hate the Bomb: Fail-Safe on Blu-ray
Completely Different: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 2 on Blu-ray
Bash Street Kid: Cosh Boy on Blu-ray
Seeing is Believing: Being There on Blu-ray
Top Thirty Best (and Ten Worst) Films of the 2010s by Andrew Pragasam
Top of the Tens: The Best Films of the Decade by Graeme Clark
Terrorvision: A Ghost Story for Christmas in the 1970s
Memories Are Made of This: La Jetee and Sans Soleil on Blu-ray
Step Back in Time: The Amazing Mr. Blunden on Blu-ray
Crazy Cats and Kittens: What's New Pussycat on Blu-ray
No Place Like Home Guard: Dad's Army - The Lost Episodes on Blu-ray
A Real-Life Pixie: A Tribute to Michael J. Pollard in Four Roles
We're All In This Together: The Halfway House on Blu-ray
Please Yourselves: Frankie Howerd and The House in Nightmare Park on Blu-ray
Cleesed Off: Clockwise on Blu-ray
Sorry I Missed You: Les Demoiselles de Rochefort on Blu-ray
Silliest of the Silly: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 1 on Blu-ray
Protest Songs: Hair on Blu-ray
Peak 80s Schwarzenegger: The Running Man and Red Heat
Rock On: That'll Be the Day and Stardust on Blu-ray
Growing Up in Public: 7-63 Up on Blu-ray
Learn Your Craft: Legend of the Witches and Secret Rites on Blu-ray
   
 
  Presidio, The Military PurleaseBuy this film here.
Year: 1988
Director: Peter Hyams
Stars: Sean Connery, Mark Harmon, Meg Ryan, Jack Warden, Mark Blum, Dana Gladstone, Jenette Goldstein, Marvin J. McIntyre, Don Calfa, John DiSanti, Robert Lesser, James Hooks Reynolds, Curtis W. Sims, Rick Zumwalt, Rosalyn Marshall, Jessie Lawrence Ferguson
Genre: Drama, Action, Thriller
Rating:  4 (from 1 vote)
Review: It seemed like any other night in San Francisco for the Military Police based at The Presidio, but it was not, for when one of their number (Jenette Goldstein) went to investigate a disturbance she was abruptly shot dead by the two criminals, who left in their car at high speed. Back at base, they were aware something had gone badly wrong, and sent cars after in pursuit, but these men were evidently professionals and managed to evade the law, leaving crashed vehicles in their wake. The man sent to investigate this, and solve the murder, is Jay Austin (Mark Harmon), and to his reluctance he will have to work with the man who got him drummed out of the Army...

That man being Sean Connery playing Lieutenant Colonel Alan Caldwell, a tough, no-nonsense fellow who would not dream of apologising to Austin, so you know what that means, don't you? That's right, we have a buddy movie on our hands, and director Peter Hyams was coming off one of those with the cult hit Running Scared, a far more overtly comedic exercise. But The Presidio did not take that route, as this was serious, goddammit, which you could tell by the amount of time characters said "Goddammit!" and referred to other characters' "asses" in a non-sexual manner. It also meant the tone was punishingly dull throughout, especially after the low-level car chase excitement died down.

That opening sequence appeared to set up a far more suspenseful effort than actually showed up, because after a brief amount of time it was apparent Hyams and his screenwriter, Larry Ferguson, were more captivated by relating their knowledge of the minutiae of military law enforcers and their duties than it was presenting even the most perfunctory of thriller plotlines. Even so, perfunctory was the best way to describe this when it got down to the action bits and pieces, which were cheeseparing in their generosity, with about the only mildly entertaining element the scene where Connery beats up a barroom bully using just his thumb (except even there, he uses more than that to fight).

So what did take up most of your precious time should you choose to watch this? For reasons best known to itself, the film wanted to explore the tensions between Austin, Caldwell and Caldwell's daughter Donna (Meg Ryan), a randy and rebellious young lady whose over-exuberance and lack of boundaries is put down to her losing her mother when she was two years old. That was the sort of material that passed for character development in this movie, but it was so tediously shallow that it was purely the charisma of the lead actors that would provide any excuse to sustain your interest; Jack Warden appeared as well as an old Army cohort of Caldwell's, seemingly to flesh out his backstory (Connery had a drunk act sequence where he bared the Colonel's soul to groaning effect), but with more to do later.

Nothing particularly useful, as a function what they did with Warden was just silly, but then that was the film all over - if only it had been amusingly silly and not apt to prompt Liz Lemon-style epic eyerolls. With a mystery that you didn't give a shit about, stars who had proven themselves elsewhere but were merely picking up their paycheques, and a leaden lack of actual tension, The Presidio came across like a project that had been in development Hell for too long and had gone through many hands before emerging as a neutered and basic space filler for the then-burgeoning multiplex market. Which was precisely what it was, a production all the potential enthusiasm for had been steadily drained from as it went through its rewrites and cast changes. And yet, it does have its fans, people for whom this succeeds on its own terms, so if you're easily pleased, maybe it will satisfy you. Music by Bruce Broughton.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 173 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Peter Hyams  (1943 - )

American director, writer and cinematographer, mostly of standard genre movies: action, sci-fi, thriller, etc. After a career as a TV newsman (he was a Vietnam War reporter) he moved into films, writing and producing T.R. Baskin. A couple of TV movies later, on the big screen he made Busting, Capricorn One, Hanover Street, Outland, 2010, The Presidio, a remake of Narrow Margin, Stay Tuned, Timecop, Sudden Death, The Relic, End of Days, The Musketeer and A Sound of Thunder.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
  Butch Elliot
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
  Rachel Franke
Enoch Sneed
Paul Smith
Paul Shrimpton
   

 

Last Updated: