Renegades (Blu-ray) (2017)
|Year Of Production||2017|
|RSDL / Flipper||Dual Layered||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||2,4||Directed By||Steven Quale|
Roadshow Home Entertainment
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English DTS HD Master Audio 5.1
English Descriptive Audio Dolby Digital 2.0
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||2.40:1|
|Original Aspect Ratio||2.40:1||Miscellaneous|
|Subtitles||English for the Hearing Impaired||Smoking||No|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
In late 1944 as the Third Reich crumbled the Germans looted paintings, cash and $300 million in gold bars and hid the horde in a small Yugoslav village after massacring all the inhabitants except for one young boy who escaped. However, the Partisans blew up the dam at the head of the valley, flooding the village and the Germans, leaving the loot undiscovered at the bottom of a lake.
Fast forward to 1995. A team of US Navy SEALs led by Matt Barnes (Sullivan Stapleton) is in Bosnia as part of the NATO peacekeeping force. When a covert operation to “extract” a Serbian general accused of war crimes becomes anything but covert, the team are carpeted by their superior officer, Rear Admiral Levin (J.K. Simmons), and suspended from duty. One of the team, Stanton Baker (Charlie Bewley), has fallen in love with local girl Lara Simic (Sylvia Hoeks); she is the granddaughter of the child who survived the WW2 massacre and she wants Stanton and the SEAL team, in a rogue operation, to retrieve the gold from the bottom of the lake so she can use the money, less a share for the team of course, to help rebuild her war-torn country. Of course the team agrees, else there would not be a film. Diving onto the abandoned underwater village they race against time to find and retrieve the gold before hostile forces led by Petrovic (Clemens Schick) can stop them.
Renegades (also known as American Renegades) was directed by Steven Quale. His CV has only two features, neither of which don’t necessarily inspire confidence (Final Fantasy 5 (2011), Into the Storm (2014)) but his direction of Renegades is slick. The co-writers of Renegades have a more extensive pedigree: co-writer Luc Besson has any number of recent pop-corn action films on his resume (he is also one of the producers here) while co-writer Richard Wenk scripted the two The Equalizer films (2014 / 2018) as well as Jack Reacher: Never Go Back (2016). The result is a film that is replete with masculine camaraderie, tense underwater sequences in the abandoned village, nice action scenes including a helicopter vs a fighter jet and an impressive sequence involving a rampaging tank in the streets of Sarajevo.
The extended climax of the film takes place underwater at night so it is difficult to see who is doing what, especially as everyone is in diving masks when they are attacked by knife welding hostile divers. Elsewhere, Australian born Sullivan Stapleton (Themistokles in 300: Rise of an Empire (2014)), is suitably grizzled and stoic while J.K. Simmons is J.K. Simmons. The rest of the SEAL team are pretty much interchangeable despite some attempts to give them individual character; the only other character who stands out, perhaps for the wrong reasons, is a manic Ewen Bremner as a helicopter crewman.
There is never any doubt about how Renegades will end up although as it is a well shot, fast moving and entertaining action adventure film that never pretends to be anything other than what it is so it is worth a look.
Renegades is presented in an aspect ratio of 2.40:1, in 1080p using the MPEG-4 AVC code.
The video presentation is acceptable although nothing special. This is a murky looking film but as the climax is at night underwater in murky water this is fine. However, in some night sequences, especially the boy’s night escape from the village, shadow detail is somewhat indistinct. Daylight sequences on the other hand are clean and sharp with crisp digital colours including bright red / yellow explosions. Skin tones are natural, contrast and brightness consistent. Marks and artefacts were absent.
English subtitles for the hearing impaired are available and clear white subtitles automatically translate sections of non-English dialogue.
Audio is a choice of English DTS-HD MA 5.1, and English descriptive audio (Dolby Digital 2.0).
The audio is excellent. In the non-action sequences the rears and surrounds feature music, voices, such as announcements on the NATO base, and ambient sounds while there is effective use of the rears for the gunshots in the distance as the Germans massacre the villagers. During the action there is frequent panning as the tank, helicopter or the jet fighter flash across the screen as well as the impact of bullets and shells. The underwater sequences feature air bubbles and other water type sounds. The subwoofer fully supported the explosions, engines, the destruction of the dam and the drowning of the village and the Germans in a wall of water. Dialogue is sometimes at a low level, however. The music is superior and more varied than usual in action films, adding to the enjoyment. It is no surprise that it was composed by the excellent Eric Serra, who has scored many of Luc Besson’s films including Leon: The Professional (1994) and The Fifth Element (1997) as well as GoldenEye (1995).
Other than in one scene where Sylvia Hoeks seemed slightly off, there are no lip synchronisation issues.
|Surround Channel Use|
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
The US Region A Blu-ray of Renegades includes featurettes about the story and cast (12:18), production design and locations (11:35), the stunts, weapons and vehicles (10:36) and the underwater sequence (10:47), so is the better choice.
Renegades is a straight-forward, old school adventure that ticks all the boxes with honourable heroes, one note villains, a beautiful girl, tension, action, explosions and a bit of mayhem with a tank. There is never any doubt about the outcome but getting there is pop-corn entertaining.
The video is acceptable and the audio is very good. However, we miss out on the extras available in Region A.
|DVD||Sony BDP-S580, using HDMI output|
|Display||LG 55inch HD LCD. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.|
|Audio Decoder||NAD T737. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.|
|Speakers||Studio Acoustics 5.1|