The Presidio

Dir: Peter Hyams
Star: Sean Connery, Mark Harmon, Meg Ryan, Jack Warden

This lacklustre thriller has a script that never deviates from the glaringly-obvious. Oh, look: ex-soldier turned cop Jay Austin (Harmon) has to go back to his old base, where he teams up with his former CO (Connery) to investigate a shooting. Of course, tensions rise, respect is mutually earned - and the young hero goes at it like knives with the old hero's daughter (Ryan), in a ludicrously implausible fashion (check out their first meeting). Only in movies does this happen - then again, only in movies would the villains construct such a ludicrously complex scheme to achieve their ends. And only in movies do thugs pick a fight with an army officer who proceeds to defeat them, solely using his right thumb, because 'the left one would be too powerful'.

With this brain-dead excuse for a plot, an thoroughly forgettable lead in Mark Harmon and a romantic interest which appears stapled on to the rest of the film, it's entirely up to Connery to try and save things. He adopts his usual approach - exactly the same as just about every other character he's played - and the results make for easily the most entertaining thing about the film. [A close second is the scene where Harmon gets paged on his beeper and stops his car to use a call-box. Those were the days, eh?] It's still not enough; your brain will be fast-forwarding through the climax, a shootout in a water-bottling plant where, inevitably, the bad guys prove to have failed their classes in Marksmanship 1.0.1. at the School of Villainy. Writer Larry Ferguson needs to apply himself too, or in fifteen years he'll find himself writing crap remakes like Rollerball. Wait a minute...


What we wrote then [9] Sean Connery is a policeman on a military base who has to contend with murders, a renegade ex-soldier turned cop and a fairly un-necessary romantic subplot involving said cop and Sean's daughter. Needless to say, he ignores them all and proves again that while he may play a limited range of characters (this time, it's roughly 50/50 Name of the Rose and Hunt for Red October), he's pretty good at them. 7/10.

You're the man now, dog...
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