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
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
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
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
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
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.
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Season 3 - Kiefer
Season 2 - review
Season 1 - review