Sunday 29 January 2023

Renegades - Review


Screenplay by Tom Jolliffe and Jonathan Sothcott
Directed by Daniel Zirilli

Set in London, Daniel Zirilli’s Renegades is a tightly told story of Goram (Louis Mandylor), an evil gang boss, biting off more than he can chew when he comes up against a band of fiercely loyal, battle-hardened, special forces veterans.

It all kicks off when an American vet, Major Carver (played by Lee Majors – yes, the Six Million Dollar Man) is brutally murdered, stumbling across Goram’s patch. Carver had led a self-help group of vets, working their way through civvy-street with varying degrees of success. Some of the old soldiers are battling PTSD and the love and respect that they feel for the Major is tangible. Without getting sentimental, Sothcott and Jolliffe’s storyline picks out some fine aspects of camaraderie and friendship.

When this ageing band of brothers get to learn of Carver’s gruesome fate they galvanise themselves into action, dredging up whatever weaponry (crossbow anyone?) they’ve held onto over the years, and cooking up a wonderful piece of deliciously vicious hokum that sees Goram’s gang dismantled, mainly through the use of well aimed head-shots.

That the actors playing the veteran good-guys include Sothcott’s (who also produces) hardy perennials of Nick Moran, Ian Ogilvy and Billy Murray only adds to the fun. Jeanine Nerissa Sothcott puts in a fine turn as a cop, while stealing every scene he’s given is the ridiculously brilliant Paul Barber whose cynical, gnarled Scouser marks him out as one of the finest character actors around. There’s even room on the cast list for Patsy Kensit as Carver’s daughter and keep your eyes peeled for the briefest of cameos from Michael Brandon in the finale.

A great night in, Renegades is 90 minutes of bloody brilliant entertainment.

Streaming from 30th January and available on DVD from 13th February

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