Monday, December 05, 2022

Renegades, Co-Starring Lee Majors and Patsy Kensit

These retired mercs fancy themselves the old-timer version of “The Wild Geese,” which is saying something, considering how haggard the hard-living Richard Burton and Richard Harris looked in that 1978 movie. The crusty old Londoners are probably twenty years older, but they look healthier. That is fortunate, because they will have some work cut out for them in Daniel Zirilli’s Renegades, which releases tomorrow on VOD.

Maj. Carver just moved his former subordinate Burton off the streets and into his home, because the veteran officer never leaves one of his men behind. Carver is pretty American-sounding, but his daughter is all British. Judy Carver was even elected a local councilor. In representing her district, she made trouble with the cops for Anthony Goram’ criminal outfit. Carver intended to warn off the interloping foreign (from parts undefined) gangster, but his thugs killed the Major instead.

Obviously, Burton and Carver’s old comrades (and fellow support group members) Peck, Woody, and Harris do not take kindly to that, so they round up all the weapons they can scrounge (including a crossbow) to take the fight to Goram. They do a pretty good job of it, especially since Inspector Moore (who is investigating their mayhem) has to call in favors from her CIA contact (a cameo appearance for Michael Pare) to figure out what is going on.

That is pretty much all there is to
Renegades, which wouldn’t be so bad, if Zirilli’s direction were smoother. His strictly dramatic scenes have an awkwardness that must embarrass his experienced cast, especially the great Lee Majors, who brings a gravitas to the film that it doesn’t deserve, as the Major. As Judy Carver, Patsy Kensit (from Lethal Weapon 2 and Angels and Insects) is stuck in several dull scenes opposite Nick Moran’s impassive Burton that must have been a chore for them to plod through.

At least Ian Ogilvy (who appeared in Michael Reeves three films), Billy Murray, and Paul Barber bring a little bit of energy and attitude to the film as the “Renegades,” not that anyone actually uses that term in the film. Louis Mandylor chews the scenery with his usual villainous VOD-professionalism as Goram. Danny Trejo also turns up as their mysterious underworld contact, Sanchez, but he only seems to be in the film to get the actor’s face on the one-sheet.

Hollow Point was reasonably watchable and professional looking, but Renegades comes close to completely reverting to the junky clumsiness of Acceleration and Asian Connection. When the shooting stops, the tone craters to amateurish levels. Fan favorites like Majors, Kensit, and Ogilvy deserve better. Not recommended, Renegades releases tomorrow (12/6) on VOD.