Renegades offers some rollercoaster thrills thanks to Jack Sholder’s full-throttle direction but ultimately exhausts itself with unrelenting bedlam.
Kiefer Sutherland plays Buster, an undercover cop chasing a baddie who’s stolen $2 million in diamonds. In the process, Marino (Rob Knepper) kills the brother of Hank (Lou Diamond Phillips) and makes off with an ancient spear, an artifact sacred to their Lakota Indian tribe.
Phillips must recover it to satisfy his father, throwing him together with Sutherland, who’s intent on exposing the ‘dirty cop’ working with the gang because his father was ousted from the force with a blemished record.
Story resembles an earlier quest film, Red Sun, which cast Charles Bronson as a gunslinger shackled with a stone-faced samurai (Toshiro Mifune) jointly pursuing the bad guy who swiped Mifune’s ceremonial sword.
There’s some terrific action, to be sure, which should come as no surprise to anyone who saw Sholder’s impressive sleeper The Hidden. The frenetic pace, however, provides scant opportunity to flesh out the two leads, let alone any of the supporting cast.