Rennervations review: Anil Kapoor steals show in Jeremy Renner-led docuseries | Web Series - Hindustan Times
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Rennervations review: Anil Kapoor steals show in Jeremy Renner-led docuseries

Apr 12, 2023 12:55 PM IST

Rennervations review: Streaming in Disney+ Hotstar, the docuseries sees Hawkeye actor Jeremy Renner help multiple communities with decommissioned vehicles.

It's impossible not to account for the unfortunate snow ploughing accident that left Jeremy Renner with severe injuries at the beginning of the year, as he leads his new four part docuseries streaming on Disney+ Hotstar. Smartly titled Rennervations, the show co-directed by Zach Merk and Rupert Smith follows the actor as he teams up with four different charities around the world to help restore vehicles which can be used for community service. (Also read: Anil Kapoor calls Jeremy Renner 'toughest Avenger' as he appears on Jimmy Kimmel's show three months after accident)

Anil Kapoor and Jeremy Renner in Rennervations.
Anil Kapoor and Jeremy Renner in Rennervations.

Rennervations sees the Hawkeye actor team up with friend, and executive producer Rory Millikin, who although admittedly helps little with the know-how of the proceedings, still provides the episodes with an affable and welcoming presence. Renner, who owns a collection of decommissioned government vehicles, ranging from buses to fire trucks, informs of his lifetime passion with vehicles and automobiles and how he has been adding these giant trucks at a yard near his house. Rennervations builds on this passion to put it into a noble cause, as the actor teams up with local volunteers, experts and charities to "repurpose, re-imagine and renovate" these vehicles for communities from Nevada to Illinois in USA, to Rajasthan in India and Los Carbos in Mexico.

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Neat as these intentions might be, the problem-solving attitude of Rennervations feels orchestrated to a degree of how it delivers the specific endeavours at large. Renner, exuding a modest determination and earnestness, is not really able to charge over the proceedings with a magnetism that saves up to his onscreen performances. Here he is real in the way he is perceived as someone trying to understand community problems around the world, and setting a timeline around which the decommissioned trucks can be transformed into a dance floor, or provide drinking water through installing purifiers in the truck. This mode of 'trying' can be mundane as it prepares to uncover how stressful things can get under a stipulated time frame. Rennervations coolly avoids to acknowledge who set these time frames for these enhancements or whether these improvements are functioning properly after these stars have left. Who will be responsible for their maintenance and check when repair is required?

As each of these projects take on an episodic structure to identify the problem areas, set up a plan, and then get into the nitty-gritties of construction- the parts feel increasingly designed and predictable after a point. Renner is easily outshined by some of his celebrity friends that he calls along the way, particularly by Anil Kapoor- whose presence in the second episode focused around the arid lands of Rajasthan, exudes the much-needed frankness and ease to make the episode the most memorable out of the lot. The man knows a thing or two about how to direct the energy in a room. On the contrary, it is the appearance of singer-actor Vanessa Hudgens that feels orchestrated to a degree where her seemingly obvious statement- "music is everything,” rings like a pre-rehearsed response.

What Rennervations does contribute well is how it puts the spotlight on the craftsmanship of the team of designers, fabricators, engineers and volunteers as they come together to take charge. Observing them at work is far more fascinating than indulge in the minute-long inspirational quotes within the bunch of celebrities talking about the noble intentions. Rennervations, at its best, spins these snippets of hardworking technicians at work to conjure a feel-good and enjoyable series that could have fared better if it knew how to navigate its journey of community transformation above the reach of its fuelled star power.

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