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Sunday, 9 April 2017

Weekend TV Movie Review: Renegades (1989), ITV3

Cast: Kiefer Sutherland, Lou Diamond Phillips, Jami Gertz
Genre: Action Crime
US Box Office Gross: over $9 million 

Plot: While no nonsense Philadelphia cop Buster McHenry is going undercover to investigate a gang headed by the ruthless Marino, he is forced to take part in a robbery that ends with the theft of a sacred Sioux artefact and the death of several onlookers. After the incident, Hank Storm, whose brother was killed during the robbery teams up with Buster to recover the artefact and avenge his brother's death 

'Tedious Buddy Crime Drama That Is Laborious & Offers Nothing New Or Exciting'

You'd think as a crime drama with an interesting premise (sort of), Renegades would do the trick. In fact, it is the same old buddy cop formula that has been done and rehashed so many times over, as well as it is a sub genre that has been executed with far more panache, with better characters performances along with more exciting story-lines. 

Renegades sees an undercover cop with a moustache that looks like a rat, played by brat packer and 24 star, Kiefer Sutherland and native American Indian played by his Young Guns buddy, Lou Diamond Phillips, teaming up to track down some diamond thieves and to retrieve a tribal weapon. 

Only managing a paltry $9 million, Renegades is inundated with problems throughout, lack of comedy and humour, which would have helped the film. It takes itself far too seriously, that the characters spend more time at each other's throats and hating one another's guts. The protagonists are so... dull, characterisation-wise. Renegades is so generically ordinary, despite the native American theme. I'd thought that this would make a tremendous amount of difference to the film, but it doesn't. Far from it. 

Renegades is also another film back in the day that I used to love when I was younger; but now, my opinion on it has since changed a great deal. 

Additionally, no explanation is given as to why that ancient Native American Lance was stolen and his reasons for having it in the first place. 

Lou Diamond Phillips's Hank is too moody and serious, as if he has a stick up his ass, whereas Kiefer Sutherland did lighten up the mood a tiny bit and going about it in a slightly casual manner. I got so fed up with their bickering, that old cliche of two good guys hating each other's guts, yet still having to work together to achieve a common goal, became tired. The pair lacked the rowdy, fun, gung-ho fervour of Sly Stallone and Kurt Russell in Tango & Cash and wisecracks of Eddie Murphy in 48 Hrs. Jami Gertz has little to do and only has a few lines, and gets shot and the villains are bland and mediocre. 

The film is predictable, the action is sub-standard and typically found in many other straight to DVD action flicks and though it has its moments, it doesn't justify the runtime of 1 HR, 45 mins. 

Final Verdict: 

Everything 48 hrs, Tango and Cash, Red Heat, Lethal Weapon does and does it better. Meanwhile, Renegades is poor in every single aspect as a buddy cop film. It's a poor imitation that tries to pass itself off to be as good as its predecessors, yet it ultimately fails. The Kiefer and Lou Diamond partnership is weak and not memorable enough. 

For 80s buddy crime and cop movies, there are far better alternatives out there. 

So look elsewhere. 

This film, however, is largely stale and forgettable. 


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