Film

Theatre

Music

Clubs

Events

Food

Shopping

 

A/V Room

Books

DVD

 

Competitions

Gallery

Contact

Join

24 - Season 4 (15)



Review: Jack Foley

DVD EXTRAS: 'Breaking Ground: Building The New CTU' featurette. 'Blood On The Tracks' featurette. 'Lock And Load' featurette. 'The Longest Day' music video. 40 deleted/extended scenes with optional commentary.

THERE comes a point when you have to start wondering just how much worse a day can get for Jack Bauer?

Having already survived three of the most torturous days in history, he is once again confronted with saving America and going to extreme lengths to achieve it.

Yet while the format sounds stretched beyond repair, Season 4 proved that Jack Bauer and the team at CTU still have plenty in their tank yet, tossing in plenty of twists along the way to another great conclusion.

Jack (Kiefer Sutherland) is called into action this time around when his new employer, Secretary of Defense, James Heller, is kidnapped by a highly organised group of terrorists, who threaten to prosecute him for war crimes via a live internet feed.

To increase the stakes still further, Heller's daughter has also been taken hostage, who just happens to be having an affair with Jack.

This being 24, however, the kidnap is merely part of a much bigger plan that involves a new nuclear threat to the United States, as well as countless mini-threats along the way.

As usual, the story unfolds in a real-time format over 24 tension-riddled hours, managing to cram more drama into one day than most series can manage in a lifetime.

The fourth season of 24 contains many of the same traits as season 2 without falling into the same pitfalls.

For starters, Jack's daughter, Kim (Elisha Cuthbert) plays no part in this series, while several of the key players from the past only have supporting roles.

There's a new head of CTU for Jack to bump heads with, a new president in the White House to impress and plenty of new CTU agents to get to know properly.

While in Arnold Vosloo's terrorist mastermind, Habib Marwan, there is an adversary that's truly worthy of Jack's skills.

A lot of the fun lies in watching the cat and mouse game between Marwan and Jack unfold, which is played out in a way that is sometimes too close to current world events for comfort.

But then much of 24's long-term allure lies in its ability to tackle relevant issues in a credible fashion, as well as daring to venture into that worst case scenario (and beyond) for extra dramatic effect.

Hence, we cannot expect that good will always prevail and nice characters will survive, as part of the show's ability to conjure suspense lies in the perceived vulnerability of a lot of its stars.

Another strength is the show's consistent ability to bring back characters from previous days, so expect to see the likes of Dennis Haysbert's former President Palmer and CTU's Tony and Michelle making welcome returns.

The best thing about season 4, however, is that it seldom drops the pace or veers into stupid territory.

The creators seem to have learned from past mistakes and managed to keep the show consistently exciting, so that each hour unfolds in breakneck fashion and almost always leaves you with a jaw-dropping twist.

Just when you think you have a clear understanding of what's going on, it pulls the rug out from under you, managing to stay one step ahead without ever losing its way.

And the conclusion is, quite simply, brilliant and one that's sure to keep fans guessing over the future direction of the programme.

We highly recommend that you clear your diary in order to spend another scintillating day with Jack.

Related stories: Season 3 review

Season 3 - Kiefer Sutherland interview

Season 2 - review

Season 1 - review

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z