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Going over past reviews, I ran across the one I wrote for 24 back when
it first started, and trying to figure out what my first review for
2007 should be, it was definitely a no-brainer.
WOW. Back then, I thought that this was one of the smartest, snappiest, wildest rides you could have on television, and it always managed to keep your mind racing as fast as your pulse as Jack Bauer got in and out of scrape after scrape after scrape, sometimes barely managing to survive by the skin of his teeth, while dealing with whatever crisis was afoot. I was also very afraid that a series this good would never be allowed to last or find the following it deserved.
THAT WAS FIVE YEARS AGO. Five "really bad days" ago for Agent Bauer, who has in the period between then and now seen the brutal deaths of his wife, his friends, his co-workers and scores of people he was close to, or was getting close to; he's been addicted to, then kicked a drug habit; killed dozens of people himself - some who absolutely deserved it, while a few others did not; seen a president assassinated and seen the corruption, greed and treason behind that horrific event taint the highest levels of power in Washington; witnessed both biological AND nuclear terrorist attacks on American soil and was instrumental in making sure that they didn't become worse than they were; become estranged to his daughter (though since Kim frequently got on my nerves, I didn't see this as exactly a real bad thing), and for the "cherry on top", seen his own place of work - the offices of CTU itself - blown to smithereens.
I think that if they just did a highlight reel of the best and most harrowing moments of this show, they'd have to mail nitroglycerine tablets to all the fans to prevent heart attacks! And now here we are, at the beginning of Season Six, having been left all these months with the nightmarish image of Jack literally having been kidnapped, tortured and shanghaied on "a slow boat to China", a delayed punishment for both real and perceived transgressions he committed against the Chinese government while preventing yet another unthinkable catastrophe.
Nothing he's gone through before has ever left him unscarred or unchanged in body, soul or mind, and that goes just as well for the people around him. What fresh challenges, what terrors await us when he shows up this time, in a series that sometimes seems to cut way too close to home with its depiction of a world where negotiations between nations seem to be expedited more easily by bullets and bombs than vigorous diplomacy? I certainly know as much as you do...and like all the fans reading this, I sure as hell can't wait to find out!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The prequel starts off with Jack being tortured by the Chinese
Ambassador who we all remember from Day 4 and the very end of Day 5. It
shows them torturing Jack to get information on a spy within the
Chinese Government who is working for the United States. Now we all
know that even under extreme torture Jack Bauer would never willingly
give away State secrets to the enemy, so they throw Jack back in his
faeces ridden cell.
Just when all hopes look lost the Red Guard watching Jack suddenly falls to the floor as the sound of a silenced pistol is heard. Two special forces agents break Jack out of the prison and lead him clutching like a baby to a conveniently places Toyota 4x4 (which by the way is way to over publicised, although fair enough they do sponsor the show) a car chase ensues between the Toyota and a cruddy Chinese Jeep-rip-off, by the way which the Toyota could completely outrun. Then as they get to the LZ (Landing Zone), the mysterious US/Chinese agent the ambassador was trying to get Jack to identify turns up out of the blue. Dazed and confused Jack identifies the Agent to the supposed "US Special Forces" as the secret agent. Suddenly spotlights cover Jack and the ambassador appears to congratulate the two Americans holding Jack, or Mercenaries as they should be called. Then Day 6 began....
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The prequel for Day 6 starts seeing Jack Bauer under the custody of the
Chinese.Jack is being tortured with electric shock by several guards.
The supervisor Wu San is concerned and informs Cheng Zhi that they are
still unable to extract information from him regarding a Chinese
government agent who they believe is working for the United States.
Cheng disregards the warning and tries again to force Jack to identify
whether Hong Wai or Li is the American informant; Jack remains silent,
and is thrown back into his cell.
Shortly thereafter, a white man with covert operations gear enters the cell after the muted sound of sound-suppressed gunfire. He is followed by a second soldier: it is a rescue operation. The first man assures Jack that he will be safe soon, and even looks at a photo to confirm it is him.
US agents find Jack.They lead him through an outdoor complex to a concealed vehicle after shooting a pair of sentries. After a brief car chase between the American agents and Chinese military, they manage to evade the Chinese and come to a dark field where the men tell Jack that they will have a transport ready to pick him up shortly. The two soldiers then summon a man by the name of Hong Wai, who had been concealed behind wall, to greet Jack. Hong Wai is immediately recognizable as one of the men that Jack had been questioned about earlier, regarding the mole in their government.
As Jack flinches and nods in recognition of Hong, several flood lights come on, and Chinese military vehicles swarm on the scene as well as hidden guards appear from the bushes. Cheng Zhi walks into the field and thanks Bauer for his help in identifying Hong, who he had apparently suspected all along.
Jack discovers that he has been set up by Cheng. Zhi then executes Hong with a single shot to the head, and thanks the mercenaries for their role in the set-up, promising them that money will be transferred to their Swiss bank accounts. The guards are then ordered to return a distraught Jack to his cell where he will continue to be held prisoner.
These events take place approximately 7 months after Day 5 and 13 months before Day 6.
The new season is about to start seeing Jack on the other end of the interrogation and suffering from the hands of the Chinese.Again,critics of the TV series will point to this whenever the politics of torture especially when they consider it being "glamorized" by 24.
24 is by far one of the best TV series I have seen so far. There are some flaws nevertheless but all in all well done to crew and actors/actresses specially my favorite Keifer. I can't wait to see the new season and what's happening to the hero and what will be the thing that he has to save day from ;-) Since most of the characters I have become familiarized with died in season 5 and it happened so unexpectedly at the beginning ,which very much reminded me of Mission Impossible, and it cause a feeling of loss,I hope they had come up with more interesting characters to fill in the gap. It is not a bad idea to give some flash backs to how Jack Bauer actually got into special forces at the first place.
I have just this minute finished watching the first 4 episodes of the
new series, and without giving anything away, I am happy to report that
this series looks to be just as exciting as its 5 predecessors.
Excellent! Not to be missed.
I admit that half way through the first episode I was more than a little upset, but by the end of the episode I was more than happy with where the story looked to be going.
And, with all the previous series I was completely wrong about where the story was going.
However, for those of you out there that have not seen some or all of the previous series, I strongly recommend you go back and watch all of them in order. I promise you will not be disappointed.
Like millions of others out there, I know that Jack Bauer is probably the
Welcome back Jack.
Just when you thought you couldn't wait for season 6 to come, the
trailer is released which doesn't help. The trailer only makes you more
eager for the actual season.
The Prequel doesn't show you much that you wouldn't already know. But has the essential characters needed to still make it 24. Jack and of course the Chinnese leader who was responsible for his capture.
Three minutes of the prequel are taken up by footage from season 5 showing his capture, designed no doubt to jock your memory, like we hadn't forgotten!.
It definitely sets you up for the up coming season, and eases your desire for 24 slightly, well at least you can see the Prequel and the trailer over and over.
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