Whilst the story of Renegades may look like and may actually have been done before and been done many times (something bad happens to someone and their friends decide to dish out revenge on those responsible) I couldn’t care less about a story being repeated as long as its done well (and here it is). With Renegades I was sold by the cast alone! Having grown up (or have I grown up!, that’s a question I often ask myself) watching hundreds of television shows and thousands of films. I always love seeing actors from shows or films I love, being in more films or shows. Renegades, directed by Daniel Zirilli is chock full of names I love seeing on screen. Where on earth do I start. Lee Majors (The Fall Guy, The Six Million Dollar Man) plays Carver, a former Green Beret and father to Judy (played by Patsy ‘Lethal Weapon 2’ Kensit). When something bad happens to Carver, his old friends and colleagues from the military decide to pick up their talents and head straight into revenge mode against those who dished out harm to their old boss. Amongst the gang of Renegades are Nick Moran (Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels), Ian Ogilvy (TV’s Return of The Saint), Paul Barber (Only Fools and Horses, The Long Good Friday), and Billy Murray (TV’s The Bill). Also assisting in various ways are Danny Trejo (From Dusk to Dawn, Machete), Michael Pare (Streets of Fire, The Philadelphia Experiment), and along for the ride in the film are Michael Brandon (Dempsey and Makepeace), Stephanie Beacham ( TVs Dynasty), and Tommy ‘Tiny’ Lister Jr (Jackie Brown)
Its also great to see that some of the cast from the previous Shogun Films film ‘Nemesis’ return to share the screen again, including of course the previously mentioned Nick Moran who played Frank Conway in Nemesis), Jeanine Nerissa Sothcott (who played Sadie Morgan in Nemesis and here takes the role of someone on the right side of the law), and Billy Murray (who played John Morgan in Nemesis) Hopefully this casting pattern is something that is repeated in the future as I do enjoy following someones work through their career and seeing what different roles they play along the way)
For a film that runs for just over 90 minutes, the film is crammed with ‘faces’ and names that I enjoy seeing on screen and whilst the film does have its great share of gun fights, hand to hand fights, and action scenes, (it even has grenades and crossbows (not harpoons), for me the high points of the film were the scenes involving the Renegades themselves swapping dialogue that had me chuckling out loud (and Renegades isn’t a comedy but it is a very funny film in places). High points for me were Paul Barber and Billy Murray who get the lions shares of the laugh moments but so many of the cast will get laughs from you. (they did from me)
When writing my thoughts about Renegades, I thought is it a thriller, or an action film or a drama. but I decided that its just Renegades. It has thrilling, action packed dramatic moments so it is all three and more. Its a really fun film that is filled with action, a great cast, witty dialogue, very cool cinematography and I knew part way through the film that I enjoyed spending time with these characters and hope that at some point the news of Renegades 2 is a thing. (stick around to the end of the end credits for a hint on whether that is the case or not)/ Renegades is the sort of film that I had a blast watching and I know I will enjoy as much or actually more when I rewatch the film again. From my publicity angle, It also made me think ‘oh how cool would it have been to be on set for a day’ but then made me think oh but which day. The days when Lee Majors was on set, or Danny Trejo, or Stephanie Beacham, or Patsy Kensit, .. Too many choices! Id want all days, so I’m fine with watching the film as a viewer
I don’t think the UK has had its version of ‘The Expendables’ but for me personally Renegades comes pretty damn close!