November 28, 2022 (NYC)– Renegades (2022)-Movie Review. Renegades is an independent British film hitting theaters and VOD this week. It is a better than average action movie worth seeing.
When Veteran Green Beret Carver (Lee Majors) is murdered by a drug gang controlled by Goram (Louis Mandylor) that has been threatening his daughter (Patsy Kensit), his old Special Forces comrades (Nick Moran, Ian Ogilvy, Billy Murray, Paul Barber) reunite to seek revenge, aided by the enigmatic Sanchez (Danny Trejo). As these Renegades dispense their own brand of justice on the mean streets of London with the police (Jeanine Nerissa Sothcott) hot on their trail, they must use every trick in their war hero playbook to stay one step ahead of the sinister gang.
To be fully transparent Renegades caught my attention because of the nostalgic feeling I have over my love of The Six Million Dollar Man television series from the early 1970’s. That showed starred legendary, Lee Majors, now 83 years old and prominently featured in this film. I didn’t expect much more than a chance to be returned to my youth, but for a brief moment in time, to reminisce about how much that show meant to me.
To my surprise this small film was very enjoyable. I found myself engaged from the first moment and, despite some shortcomings, entertained throughout.
The story is a simple one- A group of retired Special Forces brothers seek to avenge the murder of their commander, who happens to be played by Lee Majors. While their passions are inflamed as they go against a Drug Syndicate, lead by the brutal, Louis Mandylor, the must face the fact that they are no longer youthful, vigorous soldiers. They are aging civilians. This does not deter them from their mission, and thank goodness for that, because these issues really create the strength of the film.
There are elements and influences of other movies here, such as the wildly popular, big budget Expendables movie series. However, this movie understands that it is not a big budget action film with a cast of, albeit past their prime, “A” list action stars. This comfortable sense of self is part of the film’s charm. It is not looking to compete with a Blockbuster franchise.
Additionally, I couldn’t help but feel the influence of Jesse V. Johnson, one of the great independent action Directors of the modern era. In fact, Mandylor, Michael Pare, and the film’s star, Nick Moran, have all had significant roles in Johnson’s action films. Additionally, the use of violence and well timed humor all are reminiscent of Johnson’s work.
I think the real strength of Renegades is the chemistry of the main characters. Moran, Ian Ogilvy, Billy Murray, and Paul Barber make up the core of the geriatric vigilante band of brothers, that embark on this unlikely mission. They are very believable in their roles, including the action and the violence as it plays out throughout the climax of the film. Most significantly; despite their shortcomings, they are infinitely likable and fun to watch.
As for Louis Mandylor, he can always be expected to bring something compelling to the screen, and he always manages to make every scene he is in fun for the viewer to watch. I enjoyed him in this one very much.
The remainder of the cast, including Patsy Kensit as Majors’ daughter, Jeanine Nerissa Sothcott as a Scotland Yard Detective, and Danny Trejo as an intelligence officer contribute nicely to the production.
The film is low budget. This is evident, but not terminal in the fighting and explosive effects, and the minimalism of the sets. However, good movies are about good storytelling and acting and this movie more than makes up for its shortcomings in that regard.
Renegades is good time. I recommend it highly.
Renegades will be available in limited release in US Theaters on December 2, 2022 and VOD/Streaming on December 6, 2022.
Jeanine Nerissa Sothcott
DIRECTOR: Daniel Zirilli
PRODUCED BY: Jonathan Sothcott
Run Time: 1 hr 31 minutes
Rated: R for Violence and Drug Use