Cheap as undercooked chips, this British thriller about elderly ex-soldiers avenging a friend’s death belatedly cashes in on the 2010s trend for “geri-action” films, to borrow a term coined by Vulture’s Matt Patches. Though less slick, it resembles those American fisticuff- and gunfire-packed thrillers (the Red and Expendables franchises, for example) built around former big-name actors supplementing their pension schemes.
Directed by Daniel Zirilli, the film features Nick Moran (still best known for Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels) as the low-profile protagonist, Burton, a former SAS man suffering from PTSD. He gets scooped up on the street by an old acquaintance, American veteran Carver (former Six Million Dollar Man Lee Majors), who has a beef with some gangsters in his London neighbourhood who are trafficking women, selling drugs and, given the age of everyone here, possibly dealing in black market ration cards.
When Carver fails to subdue the ruffians, Burton and a cohort of buddies (Ian Ogilvy, Billy Murray and Paul Barber) band together to take out the trash, with assists from nice gangster Sanchez (Danny Trejo), Carver’s politician daughter Judy (Patsy Kensit) and a few cops.
At the very least, viewers would expect a little witty banter to pad out the time between action sequences, the latter being typically inept and low-energy. Unfortunately, the dialogue sounds as if it was written by one of those newfangled AI chatbots, or maybe an actual human being who aspires to write as well as an AI chatbot but is not there yet.
• Renegades is released on 30 January on digital platforms.