I'm sure everyone remembers the series 24. To refresh your memory, it was a show series that aired on Fox from 2001 to 2010 and starred Kiefer Sutherland. The plot of the series revolved around CTU agent Jack Bauer as he and CTU fight against various terrorist organizations and was undeniably one of the greatest shows ever put on television and Jack Bauer is one of the greatest T.V. characters of all time. This is undoubtedly due to the fact that events in the show occur in real time with each season spanning a 24 hour period, (hence the title). The shows greatness is also due to its brilliant writing with many head turning twists occurring in each season, and, of course, Kiefer Sutherland's fantastic performance as Jack Bauer. The series would go on to have eight seasons, a made for T.V. movie, and currently has a feature film in the works, (sadly who knows if it will ever see the light of day).
Having only gotten into the series a few months ago, via my Netflix Instant Viewer, and having seen the TV movie, 24: Redemption, I decided to give my thoughts on the latter.
24: Redemption is a prequel to the 7th season of the series, (although the description on Netflix said it's standalone movie) and takes place over a year after the end of the 6th season. Long story short, the season ended with Jack once again disappearing. However, he is constantly hounded by a subpoena to appear before a senate hearing, regarding the unlawful detainment of people and the torturing of prisoners at CTU but refuses to acknowledge it and has to keep moving as a result. While helping his old army buddy Carl Benton, (Robert Carlyle), manage a school and build houses for the poor in Africa, Jack gets caught up in a military coup and has to save the kids of the school from becoming child solders. Meanwhile in the U.S., President Elect Allison Taylor prepares to be sworn in as President as the backers of the coup try to cover their tracks.
On the positive side, for starters, was the acting. Kiefer Sutherland gave his usual great performance as Bauer, a man tortured by his past, constantly trying keep people at arm’s length but finds them slipping in. Robert Carlyle was perfect as Carl, a man who is also tortured past but, unlike Jack, has been able to move on. Jon Voight was also perfect as the mysterious backer of the coup, although his screen time was short. Powers Booth returned as Noah Daniels, this time world weary and ready to leave the Presidency, (but every part he does is great), and the supporting cast in Africa were also great, particularly the villains who were just horribly evil.
Oh, yea. Then there are the action scenes. While there were only a few of them, it was immensely satisfying to see Jack Bauer kill evil African Warlords. On that regard, it contains the themes that are common with Africa regarding child soldiers and genocide. While a little overused, they still remain powerful, very real, and, to me, they never get old and shows what the U.N. should really be working to prevent.
On the negative side, the whole thing seemed rushed. Heart to heart conversations happened way too early and seemed out of place. Whereas an entire season takes 24 hours to tell, this one takes place in just two and, as a result, didn't seem as developed. There were disappointingly few action scenes and the sound editing wasn’t that great, (although that may have been due to my player). It infuriatingly left a lot of loose ends, and doesn’t have a very happy ending, (but sets the stage for the 7th season). My final issue has to do more with the Netflix description then anything else. It's says it's a standalone movie, (which it's not), and gives the reader the idea that Jack would be fighting directly against this coup and I found it extremely disappointing that he was only trying to get kids out of harm’s way.
All around, however, it was really enjoyable, and if you like 24 you'll definitely like this. The plot involving an African coup was a welcome departure from the usual, over the top terrorist attacks that 24 is famous for, the casting was perfect, and the action was more than satisfying. If you haven't already seen the show, then what the hell are you doing reading this?! Watch it on Netflix Instant Viewer, rent the DVDs or buy them, because 24 is fucking awesome! As a standalone movie, 24: Redemption sucks, but as a setup to the 7th season, it's great.
WHERE'S THE BOMB?!