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24 – Redemption (2008)

Review: written Dec 2008

Jack’s back – but only in between jobs

24 – Redemption (2008)

The movie of `24' was much touted as a standalone version of the series, more action, more drama - but falls short on all those counts. Jack is in Africa, teamed up with an ex army buddy (Robert Carlyle) looking after orphaned kids in an unstable fictional African country. When soldiers come to take the children, Jack's old habits rear their head once more. Meanwhile, back in Washington, as a new President prepares to take up her role, it is clear the old Presidency has some skeletons in the closet regarding the same African country.

It's all routine `24' stuff, except for the African location. And not vintage `24' either. In fact, although Jack Bauer is an inherently watchable character, it's interesting to see how underwhelming the drama is when he is stripped of his interaction with authority, whether it be the President's team, or CTU. The action is still there, and Kiefer gives it all he usually gives, but in fact the more interesting interactions are Powers Boothe handing over to the new President, and Jon Voight barely appearing as a shady bad guy in an unnamed position of power. Which makes it all the more disappointing when that story strand is left hanging, clearly for season 7 to resolve. Jack does go from A to B rescuing the innocent and offing the bad guys, but without a whole season for twists and turns, double crosses and multi stranded stories - it all feels relatively flat and two dimensional.

Disappointing then, but if you are a regular viewer then you probably can't afford to miss it. Whatever else this is, it's not 24 - the movie. It's episode 1 of Season 7. But that probably does not make it any less compulsive viewing for the 24 addict. And if that were in any doubt, the `Season 7 teaser' which comprises about 16 minutes of the first episode, is more exciting and involving than the whole of `Redemption'.

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