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The Presidio
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Reviews & Ratings for
The Presidio More at IMDbPro »

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22 out of 28 people found the following review useful:

Better-than-average thriller

8/10
Author: jhazelett72 from Iowa
22 August 2001

Despite what some people have said about this movie, I must tell you I thoroughly enjoyed it. Sean Connery, as always, gets into his character Lt. Col. Caldwell very well (he should be cast as a military officer more often). Meg Ryan, though limited in screen time, shines as his daughter Donna...they're father-daughter sessions make for some good drama.

Mark Harmon, who for some reason hasn't received many offers to star in big movie roles, plays Jay Austin. He's a cop who used to be an MP at The Presidio, the base at which a murder takes place. Harmon does an excellent job, both as Donna's lover and Caldwell's unwanted partner.

The fact is, the performances are wonderful, the story is fascinating, and the chase scenes create pulse-pounding excitement. If you like action, romance, drama, and a little humor every now and then, I recommend The Presidio.

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14 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

Murder At The Presidio

5/10
Author: bkoganbing from Buffalo, New York
11 March 2007

A Military Policeman investigating what looked like a break-in at the Officer's Club at the Presidio in San Francisco is shot down. The same man also shoots an SFPD officer while fleeing the first crime. This makes the whole thing a dual jurisdiction between the Army and the local law enforcement.

Hard enough normally, but in this situation you have a detective played by Mark Harmon who's a former MP who has a bad history with Sean Connery the provost marshal in charge at the Presidio. Though they hate each other's guts they of necessity have to work together.

Sean Connery is one of those players who just being in a film elevates in class. Without him in the thing this would be just a routine police yarn, might have been good enough for a made for TV film and nothing more. Another conflict in the film is Connery with daughter Meg Ryan who takes an interest in Harmon at first to spite dad, but then finds herself falling for him.

Acting honors in this film go to Jack Warden the retired sergeant major who won a Congressional Medal of Honor saving Connery's life in Vietnam. Warden and Connery keep you interested in the film, in finding out just why the MP and the SFPD officer had to die. Without them, I doubt anyone would care.

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15 out of 20 people found the following review useful:

wasted opportunity

3/10
Author: (winner55) from United States
21 May 2009

Harmon and Connery turn in decent performances. Meg Ryan is way over the top as spoiled sex-pot provost's daughter. The rest of the cast is only competent, but they aren't being asked to do more. Serviceable location photography of San Francisco, competent editing.

Otherwise this is a completely formulaic buddy-cop action film of the later '80's. Totally predictable plot about diamond smuggling. No complications.

And no sense of humor. The best films of this genre had heavy doses of comedy - 48 Hours, Beverly Hills Cop, Lethal Weapon. If there's anything supposed to be amusing here, I missed it. Instead we get a pretty unbelievable romance taking up that space.

There's also a barroom brawl that has absolutely NOTHING to do with the story whatsoever. Perhaps that was supposed to be amusing. I just felt confused and depressed.

Despite the title, this has very little to do with the famed military base. The film does try to convey a "the Vietnam war is over" salute to the soldiers who fought there, so I guess it gets a point for social conscience. The rest is just a waste of talent, locale, and audience interest.

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13 out of 19 people found the following review useful:

Exciting action, good acting.

6/10
Author: Robert J. Maxwell (rmax304823@yahoo.com) from Deming, New Mexico, USA
14 April 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

In the first few minutes we witness the shooting of a woman who is a stranger to us. This is followed by a car chase through the Presidio and up and down the hills of the city. One of the cars in pursuit runs off the road. The remaining car in pursuit smashes into another vehicle, twirls through the air, and explodes on impact with the pavement. The next scene involves one of those police-station encounters in which a prisoner grabs a gun from one of the cops, and is faced down by the hero while the other police offers stand nonplussed.

Not a promising start, right? We've seen it all before. More than once.

Yet I kind of enjoy this movie and watch it once or twice a year if nothing else is on. The action sequences are well staged even if they're not believable. (Sean Connery, confronted by an ornery Hells Angels type, defeats him in combat while using only one finger.) But Connery is as good as ever, which is to say ultra-reliable and likable. Mark Harmon may not produce celluloid magic but he's likable as well, given that the role isn't especially original. He's an ex football player and it shows. He does at least some of his own physically demanding stunts while chasing a bad guy through Chinatown. He leaps nicely from roof to roof along a row of stalled cars. Meg Ryan is foxy and aggressive and there is a sexy and funny scene between her and Harmon. I've always admired Jack Warden too. Anyone who successfully leaves Newark, New Jersey, behind gets my vote.

The plot. Alas. I hate seeing characters we've learned to truly like turn out in the end to be sneak thieves, even if they are reborn just before they pay their dues. Furthermore, the gospel truth is that I've seen this movie innumerable times and I still can't figure out the deal with the smuggled diamonds. Why the hell do they wind up in jugs of water? Who's kidding whom around here? The direction is competent and the story unfolds without complicating flashbacks or directorial razzle dazzle. The location shooting is admirable. If I were in the army I'd be happy to be stationed at the Presidio, although it IS right on the bay and therefor often foggy. My understanding is that the Presidio will be closed as a military base and made available to the public. I hope things don't change too drastically. A horde of tourists will spoil the currently empty beauty of the place with its manicured lawns and eucalyptus and Washingtonia palms.

Worth seeing as a cool mystery/love/action movie, despite its weaknesses.

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14 out of 21 people found the following review useful:

Meg and Harmon just cut to the chase…

7/10
Author: Righty-Sock (robertfrangie@hotmail.com) from Mexico
21 May 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Detective Jay Austin (Mark Harmon) was sure that somebody wanted something badly from the storeroom that night… So he broke in and killed his friend, an MP, Patti Jean Lynch (Jeanette Goldstein) during her routine patrol…

Austin used to be an MP under Lt. Colonel Caldwell's (Sean Connery) command… He thought he could use the Colonel's help avoiding other channels… His instinct tells him that the bullet belongs to someone on the base… What we get here is an investigation involving both the Army and the San Francisco Police Department…

Now, while Caldwell considers Austin a man who has no respect for women and he'll use his daughter (whom he loves too much) to get at him… his friend, Sgt. Maj. Ross Maclure (Jack Warden) knows that Donna is not a little girl anymore, and that her father doesn't want her to grow up…

As a woman in love, Donna (Meg Ryan) knows that her father and Austin don't like each other… So she decides to find out about Austin, and about that incident in the Presidio, where the female MP that was shot to death was with Austin when he busted Colonel Paul Lawrence (Dana Gladstone)…

The investigation takes a turn when Caldwell knew that Arthur Peale (Mark Blum)—a former province adviser to the CIA in Vietnam—owns the Black Mountain Water Company… Slowly, he begins to perceive that there's a piece missing, something worth killing for…

The film carries two car chases in the streets of San Francisco, a good fight in a bar, and a climactic shoot-out in a water bottling plant…

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15 out of 23 people found the following review useful:

Understated movie, better than obvious at first glance

6/10
Author: TallGuy from Geneva, Switzerland
7 August 2000

While this one is no highlight in Sean Connery's or Meg Ryan's career it is better than many people make it be. It's main failing may be that it lacks a certain level of excitement we have come to expect from such films. On the other hand, it arrives at a little bit more depth than most of its contenders - which may have worked against it ...

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20 out of 33 people found the following review useful:

One hell of a love story!

Author: fibermik from Denmark
6 February 2002

This story looks like other drama/action movies. The story take place at the Presidio (military base) and is nothing new (a criminal investigation inside military lines) but Meg Ryan, Sean Connery, Mark Harmon plays it so well that the thin story becomes a minimum. Though it isn't a complete love story and have a little attention to it, Mark Harmon and Meg Ryan does it very well. She has a complex since her father (Sean Connery) probably spent more time doing the army instead of his wife (her mother). She cannot concentrate her mind on one man for long. Of course he (Mark Harmon) falls in love with her after a few love scenes, and at a party he get furious when she wants to dance with another gentleman. They come apart. This is when I noticed that this movie was about love. At home she have a little fight with her father over the problem, and as a solution to this she goes back to Mark Harmon's apartment where she apologize. When the story reach top and they solve the puzzle the end comes very quickly, but as they walk away hand in hand I feel like something else has been solved. The love between father and daughter, and of course between daughter and her lover (Mark H.).

See for yourself Meg Ryan is made to be a father's darling.

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14 out of 22 people found the following review useful:

Great Action-Mystery

Author: The Peacemaker from Alberta, Canada
22 May 2000

Sean Connery fans,this is a must. Mark Harmon fans, this is a must. Meg Ryan fans, this is a must. For: a) Sean Connery fans (of which I am one), watching Scotland's favourite son beat up a bully with his thumb is impossible to miss. He's great as a solder, and acts well (as usual). b) Mark Harmon fans, watching him as a coool detective smirking down a barrel of a gun held by a pretty much insane villain is quite amusing AND c) Meg Ryan fans, though she appears in few scenes, she takes over each one with her wild hair and sexy manner. In other words, see it. It's got an element of mystery and and action, and, in my opinion, it's very well acted. Enjoy.

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6 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Enjoyable But Predictable And Unexceptional Military Police Thriller

5/10
Author: ShootingShark from Dundee, Scotland
27 August 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

When a military police officer is murdered on the Presidio of San Fransisco, a city detective and a provost marshal must form an uneasy alliance as they investigate the case.

This is a fair thriller with some exciting elements and is slickly made all round from the always watchable Hyams. It's one of his weakest films though, and I think I lay the blame for that mostly in Larry Ferguson's script. It lacks originality - all the elements of the characters and their relationships come from In The Heat Of The Night, Dirty Harry, Lethal Weapon and a hundred other cop movies. Also, and this bothers me about a lot of Hollywood movies, what is the point of the whole daughter romantic interest subplot ? Unless I'm mistaken, this is a film about diamond smugglers and a murder investigation. I don't really see (or care) what that has to do with Connery's inability to communicate with Ryan. I'm also not very taken with the cast here; Harmon is one-note, Ryan pouts and preens in her usual whiny and annoying manner, and the supporting cast aren't very interesting. Connery and Warden fare better, but both are hamstrung by the predictable story. When it's moving though, it's a pretty good flick - what it has going for it are pleasing Frisco locations, a couple of taut chase sequences, good photography and a moody score by Bruce Broughton. There's one scene I really like - Harmon charms some information out of a dispatcher purely by talking about The Grateful Dead; it's quirky, original and unexpected. The problem with this movie is that every scene in Capricorn One or 2010 is like that. A pleasant way to kill some time, but a rather lacklustre thriller. Trivia - Calfa and DiSanti sort of reprise their roles from The Star Chamber.

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30 out of 55 people found the following review useful:

Brilliant

10/10
Author: virginiabroadhill from United States
17 January 2005

An amazing movie. All the elements come together to make a very entertaining movie that gets better the more you watch it.

From Bruce Broughton's masterful score (one of his very best in my view) to Peter Hyams' evocative photography, everything comes in focus around a first-class cast that include star-making performances by Mark Harmon and Meg Ryan and the wonderful turns we take all too easily for granted by Sean Connery and Jack Warden.

The chase sequences are among the most inventive and gripping of modern cinema and are edited with just the right touch (take note you commercial directors who think chase scenes consist of unwatchable snippets of film) and highlight a great story full of lively characters.

Overall, a very memorable movie, which helps explain why it keeps showing up again and again on our TVs.

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