Let me first start off by saying there are spoilers in this review, so if you haven’t seen all of 24 – Live Another Day, then I would suggest you skip it.
Anyway, for those of you who have seen it, here are my thoughts…
24 – Live Another Day Review: What’s It About?
The British widow of an Al-Qaeda commander killed in a drone strike by the US plans on taking over US drones and attacking London with them unless President James Heller – on a state visit to the English Capital – turns himself in.
Naturally Jack Bauer has heard about this and emerges from exile to help stop them.
And sure enough, he’ll kill lots and lots of people to make sure he doesn’t fail.
Also, because this is 24, once that initial threat is over, there’s suddenly a newer, bigger threat than ever before. Oh!!!! Em!!!! Gee!!!!!
24 – Live Another Day Review: Who’s In It?
Apart from the obvious one, 24 – Live Another Day brings back old cast members like the incredibly wooden President Hellerbot (James Devane), his daughter with the face like a soup ladle, Audrey (Kim Raver) and the fidgety and awkward to
watch Chloe (Mary Lynn Rajskub).
Other than them, major parts go to the likes of Yvonne “Typecast” Strahovski, Steven Fry, Tate Donovan off the O.C. and the most b00-hiss of panto actresses, Michelle Fairley.
Oh, and in terms of minor parts, there’s only bloody Denis Lill as the captain of a Russian ship!! Denis Lill getting TV jobs in 2014; awesome.
24 – Live Another Day Review: My Thoughts
Well in every way, this is the standard 24 formula. Jack Bauer reluctantly emerges to deal with a threat, the local authorities initially mistrust him and – despite his record in the past – believe he’s fighting for the forces of evil until he proves himself; then the threat becomes critical, it gets stopped just in time, only for another, bigger threat to turn up. Throughout it all, Jack happily slaughters dozens upon dozens of people that he deems unworthy of living while screaming in people’s faces saying “WHERE IS (insert critical piece of information here)” and then just before the end he comes up against some kind of personal tragedy. Oh, and as always, someone working with Jack turns out to be a villain.
But who cares if that’s the formula, it’s a great laugh when it’s done correctly.
And unlike the last couple of seasons of 24 – which seemed to be unimaginative, uninspiring and at times plainly ridiculous – this did manage to get it right.
I’ll be honest; the first few episodes were a wee bit disappointing, and in general the Margot Al-Harazi storyline was let down by Michelle Fairley’s rather dodgy acting skills (cue Game of Thrones fanboys sending me angry emails), but it soon picked up pace.
And by the final quarter when the Chinese turned up, it was just fantastic.
Indeed, the bit where the Chinese showed up was such a great and unexpected swerve, that it reminded me as a Doctor Who fan of the end of episode one of Earthshock where the Cybermen suddenly appeared out of nowhere. The screen grab there reflects that.
So overall, I found it an enjoyable return to form for a series which shows that it still has legs. Long may it continue
- I laughed at the bit where Heller tells the British Prime Minister “You’d have done the same if roles were reversed”. The understated look of “Don’t think so, mate” on Steven Fry’s face was great.
- Going back towards the start of the season, was that meant to be the House of Commons Heller was speaking to the MPs in? If so, that was rotten.
- I find that Yvonne Strahovski just plays the same part in every show now, and I’m getting pretty tired of her. There’s no doubt she’s well suited to playing the intense high action roles she’s cast in, but you’d think she’d try to amend her acting style at least a little bit.
- At least we won’t see William Devane in the show again. What summed his acting ability up was the way he wandered back aboard Air Force One with a coffin containing his recently deceased daughter, and his emotions and expression were no different than they had been at any point in the show previously.
- Hey look, it’s Kevin McNally off Dad!
- I think Cheng Zhi would have been better if he was played by Ken Jeong
- Do you think Jack will face any kind of enquiry for throwing Margot out that window?
- You can’t not laugh at the bit where her daughter was hit by that bus.
- In a real life situation where someone – even the US President – had to get to the centre circle of Wembley Stadium on a night when it was closed, they’d have far more trouble getting access than they did. Inevitably there’ll be some simpleton groundskeeper with the keys who would have come out with the line “I don’t care if you’re the Queen of Sheba mate, you’re not getting in there tonight”
- There’s a bit where someone – I think it was Strahovski – tries to get a shell-shocked child to open up to her by offering her a can of Ginger Beer. Ginger Beer? Really? I imagine most children these days would have told her to fuck off.
- As always with 24, there were plenty of example of people being beaten to within an inch of their life in one hour, and being seemingly fine in the next. You’ve got to love it.
- Similarly, the ease in which they got through traffic was astounding.
- 24 simply has to have an episode where the Daleks show up towards the end. Surely you agree with me on that?