Renegades (2017)


The wife was out, the boy asleep in bed, a rather attractive bottle of red was warming by the fire and I was settling down, rundown. I wanted a film that was not taxing, in the slightest.

Renegades has been sitting in my “to watch” pile for about a number of years and it was just the fit, if I didn’t watch it this evening then there is no telling when the mood and setting would be right anytime in the future. Featuring J.K. Simmons, one of the guys from that TV show Strike Back that made a little noise some years ago and a chick from Blade Runner 2049 (that I honestly can’t remember.) I half expected to make it about 20 minutes before swapping this for something else, probably Italian.

Instead, I sat with a pretty stupid grin on my face as a pack of likeable, macho dudes got up to no good in Sarajevo. Think George Clooney’s Three Kings mixed with an equal measure of a direct to video actioner like Operation Delta Force II – V and up the budget by a couple of million dollars to a couple of million dollars. I was pretty taken back by how watchable this was and noted that this is written by Luc Besson and Richard Wenk who wrote Taken and The Equaliser.

The plot is simple whilst pretty intriguing. A group of Navy Seals stumble across the legend of some Nazi gold that was lost when the allies blew up a dam that submerged a town. The Seals, who have all the training to extract the bullion must do so under constant threat.

Everything about this movie is lightweight. The action is almost family friendly but never quite hits a spectacular level, aside from the early tank chase that is stupidly fun. The characters are fleshed out as much as the plot needs them to be to carry it forward. Not being a Navy Seal myself I can’t say if the Navy Seals are portrayed to any level of accuracy, however, I would imagine the realistic and professional soldering and militaristic conduct was ignored… completely.

The dialogue, wisecracks, and jokes were likely written in the car on the way to the set, however, the script does not sink to the level of littering F-bombs throughout, in fact, I can’t recollect any coarse language at all, which was refreshing. The cast seems to be enjoying everything that is going in and put in the effort to make things work, resulting in no stellar or standout performances.

I can not imagine many will go out of their way to see this and note the absurdly low score on Metacritic and Rotten Tomatoes, however, Renegades (or American Renegades as it seems to be called in certain regions) is about as close to the Saturday adventure show for the ’80s as I have seen in a long time. If this was pilot to an A-Team TV show, then I would be tuning in for the rest of the show.

Poster art is really indeterminable from the dozens to military themed actions from the late 90’s, aside from the French poster in middle that looks the biz.

A DVD and Blu-ray exist, good luck with the Blu for a fair price.

Amazon carriers both but if you are paying the money they want for the Blu then … slap yourself.


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