Monday, November 24, 2008

“24 Redemption” Buys Some Time

As I mentioned last week, Fox’s 24 came back to life last night with a two hour movie titled “24 Redemption”. I watched it with some trepidation, because I wasn’t sure if I really cared that much about Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland), as the show has been absent for so long.

It was about what I expected. It wasn’t bad, but it didn’t have the tension and the thrills that one expects from 24. I can see why this movie came from the remains of the scrapped storyline from which the season was originally to start. But, looking at the previews for the upcoming season, they may have found themselves back on the right track.

In this two hour movie, which “takes place between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. Events occur in real time," Jack is in the fictional country of Sangala, Africa, helping his missionary friend run some sort of school and home for children. But, the country is in a state of upheaval, and the children are at risk of being captured for use by the army trying to stage a coup.

While some children play soccer in town, they are captured by the army and told they will now be soldiers in the People's Freedom Army. While two boys try to flee, they are shot, and one is killed. When Jack’s friend Cal Benton (Robert Carlyle) goes to find the boys, he finds one dead and one injured. He calls Jack to tell them the army is coming and to hide the children. Jack, meanwhile, was in process of leaving the area to avoid being taken in by subpoena by a senate committee. But, in order to save the children, he helps hide them, and single handedly almost kills all of them.

A staple with the show “24” is that Jack Bauer is a crack shot, and everyone else misses horribly, even when they are using machine guns.

Jack gets captured and is being tortured for information on the whereabouts of the children, and he sees Cal signaling in the distance. He manages to fool them into thinking the children are there, and of course it’s just a trap. While Cal takes two of the three men out, Jack trips up the last one who is holding him and kills him with a massive death grip and a neck-breaking, using his legs.

There is also a real jerk of a UN worker there who seems to be afraid of his own shadow. He refuses to help escort the school bus out of town, and of course, Jack helps. They know that they have to get to the American embassy as Sangala is collapsing and they must get the kids out. But they run into problems when the road to town is compromised, and they must walk the remainder of the way on foot. Cal steps on a land mine, and knows he’s a goner. He uses this as a way to delay the soldiers chasing them, blowing them, and him, up in the process.

Meanwhile, back in the states, a new President Elect Allison Taylor (Cherry Jones) is being readied for swearing in. The outgoing president Noah Daniels (Powers Boothe) had already made the decision to evacuate the American Embassy in Sangala, and when he briefs Taylor, she’s less than happy about his decision. Prior to the inauguration, Taylor’s son Roger (Eric Lively) gets a call from a friend who tips him off to some shady financial doings for the company for which he works. His friend promises to email the information to Roger, because instead of destroy it as he was instructed, he sent it to his home computer. But Roger never gets the email, seeing that the bad guys caught up with his friend and intercepted the information and then killed him.

Back in Sangala, Jack gets to the embassy and has to agree to come back as ordered by the subpoena, otherwise the children cannot be evacuated. As he is flying away in the helicopter with the children Taylor is being sworn in, and Roger’s friend is being buried on concrete. But it was also made clear that those connected to Roger’s friend’s killing are also close to the incoming president and her family.

After the show ends, we are shown a teaser for Season 7. Jack testifies at the senate subcommittee, being challenged about his use of torture and him responding that he doesn't regret his decisions. President Taylor is making an impassioned plea to stop what is happening in Africa. We also see a woman telling Jack that the man behind the threat is someone he knows: it's none other than Tony Almeida (Carlos Bernard) who just so happens to be not dead. Of course, there are scenes of lots of shootings, explosions, car chases, etc. We also hear Chloe telling someone she's a stay at home mom. There’s also a leak at the FBI. And Jack, very angry with Tony, yelling at him, saying, "So help me God, I will kill you and you will stay dead this time." Now really Jack, don’t you know by now that no one ever really dies on television?

“24 Redemption” was something that probably could have been missed and one would still have been able to pick up the story when season 7 begins. As far as the story itself, it was just OK. I didn’t feel like I wasted 2 hours, but it didn’t make me feel any anticipation for season 7. Well, not until I saw the preview for season 7, which looked more interesting and more action packed than “Redemption.” Did “Redemption” show that Jack truly has been redeemed, or has it just given him more resolve? Has it given him a little more compassion, or just made him angrier? From the looks of the preview, it appears that at least action and thrills will continue to follow Jack Bauer, and I’m glad that hasn’t changed. I would mind seeing Jack tone down the torture, but I don’t want Jack to turn into a wimp, either. Hopefully Jack has been transformed into a man who fights a little smarter - you know, with more brains than brawn.

Season 7 will have its two-hour premier on Sunday January 11 on Fox. I’ll be there.

Check out my blog home page for the latest information, here.

1 comment:

Music Wench said...

Well, I just skipped it. I'm sort of looking forward to the January 11 premiere but I've been kind of off television as of late except for Life on Mars. With LOCI on the back burner and Life on Mars taking hiatus until the end of January, I suppose I will have to find something so perhaps 24 will be that for me. I've been hooked on every season thus far so I'm sure if I watch the premiere, I will easily get back into it.