Quick Movie Review: The Presidio (1988)

presidioOver the weekend I found myself with the opportunity and wakefulness to actually watch a full movie. After looking around on Amazon Prime, I landed on The Presidio, a whodunit starring Mark Harmon, Sean Connery and Meg Ryan directed by Peter Hyams who also did Timecop and Sudden Death!

I wasn’t sure what to expect, never having heard of the film, but that’s a great cast (that also include Jack Warden!) so I was down. This one revolves around the murder of an MP on the grounds of a base called the Presidio. Harmon’s Jay Austin shows up to investigate the crime for the SFPD and almost instantly runs into Connery’s Lt. Caldwell. They have a history going back to when Austin was an MP who served under Caldwell.

Even though the two really don’t like each other, they eventually work together well even with Austin dating Caldwell’s daughter Donna (Ryan). As both relationships go through challenges, our heroes come to figure out exactly how big this murder truly is.

While not an instant classic, I really dug this movie. Harmon does the arrogant cop thing with a nice balance. Too much and you’d instantly dislike him. You can see and feel the pain he feels as what went down between him and Caldwell back in the day. At the same time, the Caldwells both deal with their strained relationship which has made her a bit of a wild child. One of my favorite parts of the movie is actually when Connery shows up drunk and Warden sit on a roof, drink and talk about parenting stuff!

Beyond that, there’s a nicely complex story here that also features some impressive action scenes like the end shootout in a water company (the ones who deliver the bottles for the water coolers). I found myself getting really absorbed with the personal stories then getting back into the mystery and even laughing a number of times, so all-in-all I can easily recommend this one if you’re looking for a more nuanced and layered cop story.


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