223. The Presidio (1988)

max1346134776-frontback-cover

*The Warlock opens the door to his lair. He’s wearing a black leather jacket, NCIS t-shirt, blue jeans, white sneakers and gargoyle shades. He’s holding a plant vase of root beer*

Warlock: Welcome to my lair…welcome I don’t think so, but enter. Enter my lair if you dare. I’m your host The Warlock.

*Warlock shoots fire into the sky and walks inside*

Warlock: Don’t be fooled by the shirt, this is not the start of another appreciation month. Tonight ww just happen to be watching one of my favorite Mark Harmon movies…and by we I mean by myself.

*Camera pans to empty lair*

Warlock: Tonight’s movie is the 1988 crime drama The Presidio. Sean Connery and Mark Harmon become reluctant colleagues as they take down a murderous gaggle of ex-Vietnam vets.

*Warlock takes his seat in the middle of the couch*

Warlock: So let’s get started with The Presidio.

 

Written by Larry Ferguson

Directed by Peter Hyams

 

*The Warlock reads the tag-line*

Warlock: “He didn’t want to share the murder investigation. There’s no way he’s going to share his daughter.”

Warlock: That would be too easy if he did.

 

*Opening credits with a panoramic view of San Fransisco*

Warlock: Isn’t this Dirty Harry’s turf?

 

*Militay ceremony is presided by Lt Colonel Alan Caldwell (Sean Connery). He salutes*

Warlock: TEN HUT *salutes back*

 

*Patti Jean Lynch (Jenette Goldstein) runs up the stairs as two MPs jibber jabber*

Warlock: Private Vazquez reporting for duty.

 

*MP says its cold, Patti says she has a jacket. MP says its not the same as a man. She says neither is he*

Warlock: Kick ass Vaz, you’re just too bad.

 

*Patti spots a car and says she scared lovebirds away*

Warlock: Guy leaning out the window with his pants down isn’t a good look.

 

*Patti spots a suspicious looking car with filthy license plates. She sees the door to the Officer’s Club broken in and she radios the situation. The MP tells her wait for backup. She hears glass breaking so she walks in with her gun pulled. She investigates, yells freeze and is shot dead. The two assailants make their getaway in the car as backup arrives. A car is run off the road as Zeke (Marvin J Macintyre) purues the suspect. The MP dispatcher tells them not to pursue off the base, SFPD will handle it. Zeke ignores orders and ends up sidewinding into a trailer*

Warlock: That failed.

 

*Schmidt (Peter Fitzsimmons) and Dotson (Peter Antico) are arresting Leroy (Dean R Miller) when they get a call to chase the suspects. They handcuff Leroy to his car and say they’ll be back*

Warlock: Hahaha

 

*The Lincoln leads a chase scene until the passenger caps the cruiser, it flips and explodes*

Warlock: So much for those guys.

 

*Officer Jay Austin (Mark Harmon)  is called to investigate. Howard Buckely (Don Calfa) is being grilled. He’s called too dumb by the officer questioning him. Jay is told to report to Caldwell and Jay says he doesn’t like Caldwell*

Warlock: Uh oh, time for some backstory.

 

*Howard fakes a heart attack to disarm the cop questioning him. Jay walks in and Howard points the gun at Jay. An officer walks behind Howard and aims his gun at Howard. Jay calmly says Howard shoots him, he’s a dead man. He then calmly talks the guy down as the officer disarms him. He walks away and starts breathing heavy when nobody is around*

Warlock: That’s a year off his life.

 

*Jay gets to the crime scene and meets up with Zeke. Jay used to work as an MP with him. Zeke tells him Patti Jean was killed. Jay walks in sad. Sergeant Mueller (Robert Lesser) is grilled by Caldwell. Caldwell spots Jay and they stare each other down*

Warlock: Oh, showdown.

 

*Mueller gives Jay the report. Jay says he’s taking over but Caldwell scoffs. Caldwell says he’ll cut off his balls and serve them fror breakfast. Jay sarcastically says “Yes, sir.” Jay then finds an overwatered plant and asks if Mueller watered it*

Warlock: There’s the first clue.

 

*Jay rings Caldwell’s doorbell and Donna (Meg Ryan) walks out. Jay is awestruck and Donna get in a little g rated flirting. Donna lets him in and Donna knows about the murder. Jay admits he used to be an MP under Caldwell’s command and he left because of him. Jay calls her very pretty and she asks if its hard being a policeman. Jay says her father is going to tell her very bad things about him but she’ll have to find out for herself if they’re true or not. Jay says he’s gonna walk in any moment and freak because he’ll know she’ll have the hots for him*

Warlock: Confident bastard isn’t he?

 

*Jay says he’ll tell her to stay away from him and Donna says they made an agreement when she was 7 years old not to tell her what to do. He gives her his card with number on it as Caldwell walks in. Caldwell asks what he’s doing there. Jay says they have a ballistics match on the gun used to murder Patti, it came from a Tokarev 33. Jay says he’s there to ask him for help. He spoke with a Sargent Garfield (Curtis W Sims) at the pistol range earlier and he wouldn’t talk to him. Caldwell initially scoffs and Jay goes to leave but Caldwell has second thoughts and goes with him to meet Garfield*

Warlock: Not exactly a buddy cop duo.

 

*Jay questions Garfield who keeps looking over at Caldwell. Jay asks who has a Tokarev 33 and Garfield says Colonel Paul Lawrence (Dana Gladstone). Jay gets fumed, turns around and grills Caldwell that he knew all along.  “You goddamn knew.” Outside Jay says he wants Lawrence and Caldwell gives him the business about doing it HIS way. Whatever happened between Jay and Lawrence stays in the past*

Warlock: Ooh, what might that be?

 

*Caldwell watches the Cal football game while going over Lawrence’s file. Meanwhile Donna goes to leave for her date and Caldwell says that’s not a good idea. Caldwell says Jay has no respect for women. Donna asks what exactly happened. Caldwell says Jay and Patti Jean pulled over a drunk Lawrence, Lawrence yelled at Patti and Jay beat the crap out of him. He threw Paul in the drunk tank, Caldwell bailed him out. Caldwell says Jay had no right to assault him and he orders Donna not to see Jay. She asks about their agreement. She walks out and Caldwell says “Shit on a stick”

Warlock: Hahahaha

 

*Donna and Jay talk at dinner. Jay says the incident was a little different than what Caldwell was told. Lawrence insulted Patti and took a swing at Jay, Jay ducked under and hit him once. Lawrence then court martialed Jay, Caldwell backed Lawrence and Jay lost one of his stripes,so he quit. Jay says he’s interested in her, not her father. Donna says to prove it, they could talk for an hour or just cut to the chase. We cut to an actual chase scene with Jay chasing Donna back to his place*

Warlock: You gave her your address, genius.

 

*Dona pulls out the card*

Warlock: See? What did I tell you?

 

*Donna and Jay kiss. She takes him on the back of her car*

Warlock: Official police business.

 

*They strip each other up the stairs and they get it on in his bed*

Warlock: There’s our pointless sex scene but at least it came early.

 

*Donna tells her backstory by the fire to Jay. Jay asks about her mom and Donna says her mother killed herself when she was 2. Jay “Sorry”

Warlock: Holy shit, that’s harsh.

 

*Donna goes to leave and Jay says he wants to see her again, Donna says she’ll call him*

Warlock: Ah, the “Don’t call me, I’ll call you motif”

 

*Caldwell and Jay visit Lawrence, Caldwell says he’ll do the talking. He says hi to Alan but asks what Jay is doing there. Caldwell says they’re there on official business and Jay says “Where’s the gun, asshole?” Caldwell to Jay “You really are smooth”

Warlock: I’d love to see Jay say “Step back Caldwell, I’m gonna shoot this man”

 

*Caldwell tries to play the peacemaker saying just hand over the gun, when the slugs DON’T match he can have it back and Jay will be gone. Lawrence says he doesn’t have the gun anymore. Lawrence says he lost it in a poker game weeks ago. Caldwell goes to leave and Jay tells Lawrence that as soon as he’s off the Presidio, he’ll be on his turf and he’ll own his ass*

Warlock: I thought it was Dirty Harry’s turf.

 

*Caldwell calmly tells him that they don’t need the gun, they already have the bullet. They go back to Garfield and he digs one out of the firing range. Caldwell says if the slug matches, he wants Jay’s word that he’ll go through him and if it doesn’t match to leave Lawrence alone. Jay says deal*

Warlock: Wouldn’t be much of a movie if he left him alone.

 

*Jay drops a hint that the getaway car belongs to Arthur Peale (Mark Blum) and he wants Caldwell to come investigate. Caldwell then goes to meet Sgt Major Ross Maclure (Jack Warden). Ross tries to teach kids about American history but Caldwell makes him reveal against Ross’ will that Ross was a Vietnam War hero by rescuing soldiers and earning a medal of honor. Ross “Don’t they have any kind of security around here?” Caldwell admits he was the one Ross rescued and he gave him a 45 as a token of appreciation. The little kid Julius (Chuckie Davis) is only 8 years old and has no idea what Vietnam is. Julius asks if they kicked ass in the Vietnam War*

Warlock: Hardly.

 

*Ross “I should have left your Scotch ass in the jungle.” Caldwell “Scotch is a drink, I’m a Scotsman.”

Warlock: I’m stealing that line.

 

*Ross tries to talk sense into Caldwell about Donna, Jay and the Lawrence situation. Ross says Lawrence is a monkey dick*

Warlock: Hahaha

 

*Ross says to give Austin time to prove himself and right on cue Jay walks in. Meanwhile Jay and Caldwell visits Peale. Mark Wallach (Patrick Kilpatrick) is Peale’s assistant*

Warlock: Heh, its one of the O’Flahertys from Riot.

 

*Jay grills him about the car and Peale says its his wife’s car. Caldwell notices Saigon napkins on his desk and asks what Transcorp is. Peale gives the diplomatic answer and this time its Jay that cuts the interview short. Jay outside says its his jurisdiction and Caldwell figures out Jay didn’t even see the napkins. He’ll buy him a cup of coffee anyway. We cut to a bar*

Warlock: Swell place for coffee.

 

*Caldwell asks what Jay wants with Donna as some asshole (Rick Zumwalt) starts insulting him. His buddies (Joe Hart, Clay Wilcox and Bob Rochelle) yuk it up as the asshole puts his cigar out in Caldwell’s coffee. Caldwell says he’s gonna fight using only his thumb. The guys go to rush in but Jay pulls his gun and says to keep it fair*

Warlock: I never understood that, by making it 4 against 1 you prove just how cowardly you are.

 

*Caldwell beats the crap out of the idiot while tearing up the place. Caldwell threatens him and the idiot complies. Jay hops off the bar and says his intentions with Donna are strictly honorable*

Warlock: They better be.

 

*Ross and Donna walk past a cemetary. Ross says its for soldiers and after they die they share stories with each other. He has his own special plot when he goes next to a guy who served in the Spanish American war. “Boy are we gonna  share stories.”

Warlock: Hahaha that’s a good way to look at it.

 

*Ross tries to talk sense into Donna about Caldwell. Donna admits at first she dated Jay to piss off her father but then it turned into something real. Donna hugs Ross and we cut to the Presidio. Caldwell does some investigating of his own. He finds a gallon jug of water opened in the storage room. Meanwhile someone calls Jay on his pager who uses a payphone to answer. Zeke says he’s got something for him in Chinatown and better hurry*

Warlock: Remember those kiddies?

 

*Lawrence goes to enter his car and Jay pops up to shove him against the car. Lawrence says he can’t arrest him and Jay says they’re not on the Presidio and out here, he’s not a Colonel. Jay says he’s got a warrant and the slug from his gun matches the one that killed Patti Jean.  Jay cuffs one of his hands and says he’d love it if Paul resisted arrest. Jay goes to read him his rights but heads a headbutt and an elbow, knocking him down. Lawrence runs for it*

Warlock: You wanted it, you got it.

 

*Jay is nearly run over by a Pepsi truck*

Warlock: Hahahahaha

 

*Jay chases Lawrence through Chinatown. The kitchen chef (Richard Kwong) gets thrown aside. Jay just about catches up to him when Lawrence is ran over and killed by a speeding car. Jay “Shit”

Warlock: That’s one way to end a chase scene.

 

*Caldwell gives Jay shit for not going through him first. Jay counters that Caldwell should be grateful he caught the guy who killed Patti Jean. Caldwell says they won’t be able to prove it with him dead. Jay asks why he’s got Lawrence’s back again and Caldwell admits he never liked the guy but Jay never should have assaulted him. Caldwell says Peale has something to do with this since he’s got coasters from a bar in Vietnam. Jay scoffs but Caldwell counters that Peale was CIA in Nam when Lawrence was there. Jay says he doesn’t know the classified military shit*

Warlock: That’s why you need Caldwell, Agent Gibbs.

 

*Jay figures out that the water has something to do with it and asks about Mueller. Caldwell says Mueller has an alibi and he wouldn’t have to break in, he has a key. They’ll meet at the water production plant tomorrow at 9 AM. Next frame is them meeting and Jay says he’ll handle it and its his specialty*

Warlock: So not used to Mark Harmon with personality.

 

*Jay walks up to Gloria (Susan Saiger) and figures out she’s a Dead Head. They share bonding moments as Gloria says “Who’s General Washington?” Jay says “My father.” Jay then bullshits her saying his car got banged up by a delivery truck and wants to know who the driver of the truck was that hits up the Presidio. Gloria says the driver’s name is George Spota (James Hooks Reynolds). Jay wants to know George’s address and she gives it to him, he promises to send her a bootlegged copy of a Bob Dylan concert at the Meadowlands. “Us Dead Heads gotta stick together.” She tells Caldwell to lighten up and he says he’ll try*

Warlock: her boyfriend is luccccckkkkyyyyyy.

 

*Outside Jay says the driver’s name is Spota and Caldwell knows a George Spota who served as a Sergeant under Lawrence in Vietnam. Jay says they must be the same guy. They’ll check him out tomorrow and Caldwell says there’s something else he has to check out and will tell him tomorrow*

Warlock: If they start singing Annie showtunes I’m gonna run out the door.

 

*Caldwell asks what the Grateful Dead are. Jay says he wouldn’t understand*

Warlock: Not my cup of tea.

 

*Donna walks with Jay along the shore line. Jay questions if what they’re doing is wrong. He says he really cares about her but has trouble saying it. Donna kisses him and walks off. Meanwhile Caldwell calls his friend Wooten at Langley and asks about Transcorp. Caldwell gets an answer he doesn’t like and tells Wooten goodbye and that he’s better looking*

Warlock: The old Connery charm.

 

*Jay investigates Spota’s car. Its recently been repainted blue. Jay figures out its the car that ran over Lawrence. Next frame is at a military dance. Jay sits by himself until Donna walks past Caldwell and sits with Jay. Jay wants to leave as Captain Gordon (Michael Fosberg) asks her to dance. Gordon offers his hand but Jay doesn’t take it and calls him a dick head. Gordon gets pissed as Donna laughs. Jay insinuates Donna did this on purpose to get Jay to fight for her hand. Jay then knees Gordon in the nuts and yells at Donna. He tells Caldwell that he doesn’t have to worry about him anymore, his intentions are done and she’s dangerous*

Warlock: I gotta go with Gordon on that one, Jay was being a dick for no reason.

 

*Back home Caldwell yells at Donna for her behavior. Donna yells at him back and they go back and forth.  She keeps yelling at him that he turned his back on her mom and that its his fault she’s gone. He goes to deck her but he stops himself. Donna tells him to do it, but he calms down. Donna runs off. Next frame is an intoxicated Caldwell sitting on Ross’ fire escape in full uniform. Ross sticks the gun out the window. Ross “What the hell are you doing?” Caldwell “Getting drunk, what’s it look like I’m doing.” Ross “You’ve already done that.” Caldwell “Getting drunker then.” He goes up to the roof and Ross follows him*

Warlock: This autta be good.

 

*Donna knocks on Jay’s door and he lets her in. Meanwhile Caldwell tells Ross his plight. He thinks he lost Donna and Ross says no he hasn’t. He demands perfection and sometimes she can’t measure up. Caldwell says he loves Donna and Ross asks when was the last time he told her that, Caldwell can’t answer. Ross “I know buildings easier to talk to than you.”

Warlock: Hahahaha

 

*Caldwell then figures out that the gun that Ross pointed at him was the one from the Museum. Ross admits he had his reasons for taking it out. He says it was easier to win the medal of honor than to wear it. Caldwell compares the military to Dobermans protecting a big fancy house. At night the owner wants the dog to gaurd the house but locks him up during the day because he’s embarassed by him*

Warlock: That’s a great analogy.

 

*Caldwell says his family immigrated to America when he was 10 and he sees America as beautiful, that’s why he’s a soldier. Then he tells Ross he’s drunk and Ross says as a skunk. Meanwhile Donna tells what happened with her and how she was taught at a young age to be reserved. She says he pushed her away and she’s doing it to Jay too. She felt she was losing control so she wanted Jay to run so she didn’t have to. Donna admits she was wrong and she loves Jay. Jay hugs her*

Warlock: He never said it back.

 

*Next morning Jay picks up Caldwell. Caldwell complains he’s 10 minutes late*

Warlock: “Yeah, don’t mind me, I had to wrestle a xenomorph with Patti Jean out of the picture.”

 

*Jay has good news and bad news.  The good news is Donna’s with him. The bad news is he loves her, Caldwell says he does too. Jay then says Spota ran over Lawrence and Caldwell says Peale owns the Water Company.  Jay and Caldwell then follow Spota as he makes his deliveries. The last stop is the Travis Air Force Base. Someone drops off a full water jug and Spota picks it up and takes it back to the truck. Caldwell asks a nearby soldier where THAT water came from and he answers the Phillipines. Back in the car Jay and Caldwell ask what the hell is in the water that people would kill for. Jay then figures out that Spota delivered the wrong jug to the Officer’s Club which is why he broke in to get it back. That’s when Patti Jean walked in and he killed her. Caldwell says there’s a piece missing and someone else is involved. Jay and Caldwell drive back to the Water company where Spota delivers the special water. Jay and Caldwell pull up*

Warlock: Time to solve the mystery.

 

*Caldwell says Peale, Lawrence and Spota knew each other from Vietnam. Jay asks what the connection is when a car pulls up. Caldwell looks down distraught and Jay says “Oh, shit!” Its Ross and he walks inside. Caldwell says he was with Lawrence in Vietnam as well. He must be the middle man. Inside Spota dumps out the water into a strainer and diamonds come out in front of Peale, Mark and another goon. Peale says their friend from Manilla has done well but Ross says he’s out of work, he’s here to put an end to it. Nobody was supposed to get hurt but it changed when Patti Jean was killed. Peale says Lawrence has been taken care of but Ross says its over. Mark asks him who he is and Ross answers “I’m the infantry, sonny.” Mark says the war’s been over a long time and he needs to go back to the museum. Ross says he’s gonna shove Mark’s head up his ass*

Warlock: Yeah, you don’t want to fuck with old school soldiers.

 

*Jay and Caldwell go to storm the place. Meanwhile Peale tries to play peacemaker. Ross pulls his gun and Peale asks what he’s doing. Ross says he’s going to make it right. Peale then reveals that Lawrence knew Ross had black market connections in Vietnam and used them while Ross looked the other way. Peale says that’s in the past and all of a sudden another goon from behind knocks out Ross. Peale nods to Mark and he pulls out a TMP, ready to kill Ross.  Caldwell then kicks the door open as Peale tells everyone to scram. Jay pulls his gun and spots someone running. Caldwell finds the water case and Jay finds the diamonds on the ground. Jay and Caldwell walk into Gloria’s office and Mark opens fire, nearly killing them. They crawl away unharmed. Caldwell pulls his own gun and the two combine to kill two henchmen. Meanwhile Ross sneaks around. Mark spots him and shoots him in the arm. Mark goes to finish him off but he’s not there. Jay says “Wrong” and Mark turns around, Jay shoots him dead*

Warlock: Two to go.

 

*Spota opens fire with a shotgun and causes a flood with the water pouring out. Caldwell is out of ammo as he crawls behind a barrell. Ross next to him says “Looks like we’re back in the shit again Colonel.”  Caldwell asks him why he did this. Ross says he screwed up but he’s going to make it right. Ross sacrifies himself to toss Caldwell the gun as Spota’s shotgun blasts kill him. Caldwell stands up and blows Spota away with the .45.  He checks on Ross’ body and Peale opens fire with a TMP. Jay jumps into action and blows Peale away. Jay then checks on Caldwell and Ross. Caldwell asks Jay to do him a favor and delay his report for 48 hours so Ross can be buried in full military regale. The next frame is Caldwell reading the eulogy at Ross’ funeral. He says this is the second time he’s lost something that meant everything to him. Now that he’s gone, nothing should be left unsaid, even between people who don’t say things so easily. Caldwell salutes and Ross gets the 21 gun salute and Taps played*

Warlock: *salutes*

 

*Caldwell asks Donna and Jay to walk with him. End credits*

 

 

The Warlock’s Assessment: I give it a 7.5 out of 10. Not an all-time classic but a great, great movie. It had plot, it had character development, it had action, it had romance. It had everything and it was done right. There’s only a little to complain about but the positives far outweigh the negatives. Definitely recommended if you can find it.

Final Grade: 7.5 out of 10 – Kick Ass

 

*Warlock rises from the couch*

Warlock: Like I said earlier this is one of my favorite Mark Harmon movies. It was great but not an all time classic. Easy to folloe plot with some great dialogue. Its definitely worth a look. That about wraps up another great adventure, have a pleasant evening.

 

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s