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For fans of the action packed 24 series, the 2007/8 writers strike meant that there was to be no series 7 that year. To help appease fans of the show, a smaller TV movie was made that could bridge the gap between the end of season 6 and the beginning of season 7.
Redemption is set in Sangala, a fictional African country and sees Jack Bauer doing his best to avoid the American authorities by working with missionary Carl Brenton (Robert Carlyle) in a school that aids war orphans.
Sangala is a country about to explode, young children are being drafted into the rebel soldier's army which is close to taking power in the country. The rebel soldiers come to the school and attempt to take the children, little do they know that Jack Bauer is there! The film also introduces us to the new political landscape in Washington. President Noah Daniels (Powers Boothe) is on his way out and president elect Allison Taylor (Cherry Jones) is on her way in. Will Jack get the children out of the country, but also evade the authorities and continue to keep off the grid?
Inspired by the Rwandan genocide and the US 's response to it. Redemption is a good old fashioned actioner which succeeds in both reaffirming the series and introducing us to a bunch of new characters.
Changing the location of the series was a clever move, giving the character of Jack Bauer new scope to do new things and deal with situations which are even more extreme than ones found on his home soil. Sangala, the fictional African country is well realised and explored giving the whole film a very authentic feel throughout. I also enjoyed the to-ing and fro-ing from Sangala to the US showing the links between the two countries and how America deals with the apparent coup in operation there.
It certainly gives you impetus for watching the next season, mainly because of the introduction of several new characters - mainly in the form of Jon Voight who plays a nasty piece of work who may have something to do with the influx of weaponry to Sangala. I also look forward to seeing how the new president turns out in season 7.
I also liked the performance of Robert Carlyle in this film, Carlyle is starting to tone his acting down a bit and has worked quietly in the background of many US films and TV shows of late and here does a great job as one of Jack's few friends.
Redemption gives us an idea of what the next instalment of the franchise the film , will look like when it comes to the cinema in the next year or so. If it's anything like this, then we have much to look forward to. Roll on series 7!
The last time we saw Jack Bauer, he was making the Chinese look like the Swiss, killing his father and inadvertantly causing his girlfriend to have the mental capacity of a cabbage. So, with good reason we now find Jack doing good deeds in Africa, working with orphaned children. However it's not long before Jack gets to unleash his weapons and nouse, this time on the militia trying to overthrow the Government.
Set in real-time still, but this time as a feature length, 24:Redemption has enough action and pace to get past the sizeable amount of set-up for Season 7 going on, most notably the new president is being sworn in.
Luckily for the viewer, Jack isn't bogged down by this and is just hell-bent on saving the children with the help of the able Robert Carlyle. Cue excellent set pieces in the jungle, orphanage and football pitch to keep the story moving along.
This new ground for 24 is handled competently and results in a highly enjoyable 80 or so minutes, despite the switch between storylines.
24 Redemption only came about because of the Writers Strike of 2007-2008, that caused the seventh season to be delayed for an entire year. FOX decided to release something to appease fans, and in Redemption, we have story that bridges the gap between the sixth and seventh seasons. After the rather rickety sixth season, does this bring 24 back to its old strengths?
Not really. This is as hokey, laboured, and plain as the sixth season. It takes place during a presidential inauguration and is split between the fictional African nation Sangala (which also factors in the seventh season of the show), and the United States. Jack Bauer finds himself caught up in a military coup in Sangala while taking part in humanitarian work over there to try and find some peace, whereas in the United States, President-elect Allison Taylor (one of the fine new additions to the cast) is being sworn in to office. The movie adheres to the typical 24 format, taking place in real-time.
Sadly, though, one of the only things that's really any good about this film is Sutherland's return as Bauer - it's always great to see him on the small screen, and he, along with well cast Robert Carlyle as a fellow missionary, are pretty much the only things to really even contemplate watching this for. Its effect on the seventh season is pretty muted - you can get away without having seen this and still get everything.
Although Jack Bauer's return to the small screen is certainly welcome, Redemption is poorly paced and lacking in action, making for an overly verbose feature-length outing of "24" that is a fairly rudimentary precursor to the seventh season. Performances from Robert Carlyle in particular, as well as series lead Kiefer Sutherland, are typically reliable.
'24 Redemption' is the two hour special which fills the gap between series 6 and series 7 of the best show on television. As a very brief background this program centres on agent Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) who usually works for the Counter Terrorist Unit (CTU) in Los Angeles. The show is set in real time, over the course of a day and is totally over the top. In most series Bauer does whatever he likes with minimal consequences from the law, although he is usually sacked/captured/killed/forced to leave the country/all of the above at the end of each series before being implausibly brought back to lead CTU in the next one. I realise this paints a negative picture but its just to give a quick summary and it is great TV.
With the writers' strike and Sutherlands difficulties with the law there was a delay in making season 7. There had been a series a year up to this point so my usual Autumnal 24 fest was not to be in 2008. However, this special was released just before Christmas to whet the appetite for season 7.
The first thing to mention is that between seasons in 24, there is usually a story gap of a few years. In this time pretty much anything can have happened. Presidents come and go and you have no idea what Jack has been up to. You generally just find him somewhere and the gaps are exactly that, big gaps. This DVD was a welcome change. Instead of Jack being brought back in a ridiculous fashion we get to see exactly what brought him back for season 7. In past seasons we would have just started with Jack on trial, this time we know how they got him back. So from a story development point of view this was an excellent DVD. Sadly, that is the only time excellent will be getting used in this review.
The story this time is set in Sangala, a fictional country in Africa. You see young children being forced into joining gangs and then being used effectively as soldiers in the corrupt country. Jack is there visiting his old friend Carl Benton (Robert Carlyle) who runs a missionary trying to protect the children from being forced into this way of life. Inevitably the story moves on to a battle between Jack and Benton and the local corrupt military. Jack is up against the clock to try and get the children airlifted out of the country before the US leave the territory.
There isn't much new here in terms of 24 or in terms of an action film. The thing which maintains interest is the high standard of acting. In the parallel story in Washington we see Jon Voight introduced as the character who is likely to represent evil in series 7. Actors of Voight and Carlyle's calibre add a lot to this special.
With a rumoured 24 feature film being in the pipeline this special was never going to be spectacular in terms of story, action or budget. I am sure there was a very definite decision made to make sure that no part of this would usurp a cinema release. That said, the production is polished, as you would expect based on the series.
When the normal show is on a digital clock bleeps to show adverts are about to start, the same clock then brings you back into the show x minutes later. The idea being the story was continuing whilst you were away. I was pleased to see there was less of this dead time in the DVD and in fact such was the gap to the first one I began to wonder if the clock was going to appear.
This DVD is likely only to appeal to fans of the show. If you showed it to someone who had never seen 24 before they would struggle to see what the fuss is about. That said, for a fan it was an enjoyable catch up and the parallel story set the scene very nicely for series 7 which has a lot to prove after 6 was the weakest so far.
The DVD also contains what I thought would be a series 7 preview but was actually the first 20 minutes of series 7. This was actually better to watch than the special and I was gutted when it stopped. Series 7 looks to be set up perfectly with an old friend returning to face Jack.
All in all a reasonable watch but I would wait until you can pick up it for a few pounds. Definitely not a DVD I would watch more than twice.
2 stars on here but 3 stars if you are a real fan of the show.
24 Redemption is essentially showing the events that occurred after season 6 and sets us up nicely for season 7. There was nearly a two year wait for season 7 due to the writers strike of 2008. Kiefer Sutherland ironically spent time in jail through Christmas (for a DUI offence) so that it would not affect the filming schedule but the strike eventually delayed the season regardless of this. In order to keep the trademark (since season 4) uninterrupted filming schedule, season 7 started in January 2009. Redemption aired in November 2008 and provided a good link for the fans.
Last time we saw Jack he was standing on the balcony of the Heller's household having just said a tearful farewell to Audrey, an ex love, who was recovering from her Chinese prisoner ordeal. Jack was now a free man cleared of any international crimes. However, in Redemption, it seems that not all is forgiven by the US for he is required to sit before a judge and jury to explain his 'crimes' whilst at CTU, Jack is reluctant to attend this.
Redemption shows two hours in the life of Jack Bauer and we see he has now moved to Sangala (a fictional country in Africa) or is at least travelling through, presumably to avoid the inevitable subpoena over his controversial torture of terroists and those that aid them. However, Sangala is in the middle of a military coup d'etat led by General Juma (played by Candyman's Tony Todd) and Jack is thrown into action again when the school, ran by his friend Benton (Robert Carlyle), is attacked by militia trying to recruit young boys to be soldiers in their army. Jack intervenes stopping the inital attack but he soon realises that this is only the start of it; he and Benton must lead the children to safety at the US Embassy before 5pm when the last helicopter leaves.
Back in Washington we see the build up to the inaugration of new president Allison Taylor (played by Cherry Jones) and the departure of President Daniels (we are left to wonder if Wayne Palmer did not recover from his injuries sustained in season 6). Even before her vows, President Taylor has to help make difficult decisions with the escalating crisis in Sangala. We also see the son of this new President involved in what appears to be a large scale consipiracy
I found this TV movie very different to the usual 24 experience. With only a two hour time frame this was only equivalent to two episodes but is still a treat to 24 fans to see Jack back in action. A little unusual because we've only ever seen 24 in Los Angeles and so to see such a vastly different setting with only one familiar face was a shock to the system. I found showing such a good actor in Robert Carlyle was more than an asset to the TV movie and made it a lot easier to enjoy.
I found the formula of redemption to be a brilliant filler of the two seasons and maybe something they should try each year before each new season. I found it a much better introduction to all the new characters in the white house and around it as normally we are given just the first episode to quickly adjust to these new characters and their involvement and desires and threats etc. But this two hour special was great; full of action, personal grief and an international crisis. #
What I personally love about 24 are the constant twists and turns that can change the end game of each season every few episodes; you think you've seen the bad guy or the main plot device for the rest of the season by episode 8, but you almost certainly havent. Unfortunately, Redemption didn't have time to do that and so it was an unusually straight forward story and the decision Jack has to make at the end is pretty predictable but still well handled.
Definately worth a watch, you can see this if you're not a fan of 24 but fancy watching an action film (prior knowledge isn't necessary) and this is a must-see for the fans, whose arms wouldn't of had to be twisted to watch it anyway!
Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) is an ex CTU (Counter Terrorist Unit) agent and each season is based on the really smart idea to base it all in 'real' time. Remarkably difficult if you need to fill in some kind of back story, as everything happens now and in real time. This is where 24:Redemption comes in. This was a 2 hour filler to show us what happened between seasons and how he gets to be where he is in season 7 episode 1. It also recreated the buzz for the series as the writers strike was in operation when the series should have been written and produced.
At the beginning of this 'movie' we see African children holding guns and a small boy being 'inducted' into the way of life and being egged on to kill someone. This was preparation for what follows.
Jack Bauer is in Sangala (a fictional African country) and this 'movie' takes place in real time covering two hours in Sangala time (as it flicks back from the US to Africa). The storyline is taking place on Inauguration Day for the next president Allison Taylor. A story in the US to do with her son and his friend is hinted at regarding stocks and shares and illegal trading. A brief appearance from Jon Voight looking mean sets the scene. This is explored further in season 7
Jack is helping in Carl Bentham's (Robert Carlyle) school, he knows Carl from Special Forces. Both left their homes to find peace after all the things they had done for their countries and the demons they had. Carl has found his and runs the school for African children. Jack is helping out trying to find the same. Unfortunately as any 24 fan knows, trouble always seems to find him (hurrah). Jack is served a subpoena, to appear in court for the crimes and torture he had committed as part of CTU. Jack has been dodging the subpoena and moving around. After rejecting a US State department's plea to come back and face the charges, the official threatens Bentham with reduced funding for his school. This is when Jack decides to leave, to prevent the school suffering for his mistakes. Before he could leave word of a coop is on the horizon.
General Juma's soldiers are recruiting young boys to carry weapons in their 'army' and they go to a football field where some boys are playing football. They round them up and load them into their cars. Two boys from the school run away and are shot, leaving one dead and one severely injured. Bentham goes to rescue them, but is too late for one of the boys. He returns and calls Jack telling him to get the boys into a shelter, a safe place under one of the classrooms. Jack finds Bentham's modest arsenal of weapons and kills most of the soldiers before being caught and tortured (if only they had seen what he put up with in China!). The leader of this group is killed who turns out to be the brother of a high ranking official in Juma's army and vows for revenge. Jack and Bentham escort the children to the border where US citizens and anyone with sponsorship papers can leave Sangala on a helicopter for the US. Bentham is left behind and the children need a legal guardian to travel, Jack does not want to otherwise he will be submitting to the subpoena and will be taken into custody. Realising the children will almost certainly die if left in Sangala, he agrees to return and face charges.
~Edge of your seat?~
This was an excellent prequel to the season, which I have enjoyed from season 1. I did not watch this when it came out, but watched it straight before starting episode 1 of the 7th series. This gave me a background story and what had happened in between. It shocked me as well. I understand that this story set in a fictional country was supposed to mirror the Rwandan genocide and governments response to it. Where children were abducted and frightened and brainwashed into grabbing a gun and fighting for this supposed worthwhile cause. It was shocking to me because I had no idea children were taken in this way and against their will.
24 is excellent the way it shows what is going on around the world at a particular time, and while the next president is taking her seat, oblivious to what is going on in Africa, there is genocide. It shows the workings of the political world very well and how much talking is done and deal making to achieve one objective.
The character of Jack Bauer is aging, but he can still fly kick with the best of them. Kiefer Sutherland, unfortunately has now been pigeon holed into being Jack Bauer and may stay in that mould forever, but he is an excellent agent, is very serious and rarely laughs. Ever. You can see a lot of pain in his eyes and distraction when doing normal tasks, when it comes to saving his or someone else's life. His eye is on the ball. I talk about him like he is real, but the acting is so good you believe him. In homage to this Kiefer received a nomination for best actor in a miniseries or TV film t the golden globes.
The next president Allison Taylor is going to be one to watch, one wonders whether she was modelled on Mrs Clinton? But she seems to have a friendly face, I suppose she is going to have to make tough decisions! I like that 24 doesn't go with convention all the time and has explored the idea of a female president (as they did with a black president in the first couple of seasons). Hopefully she can stay alive for one more day! There is also controversy surrounding her son's friend and what he has found, this will no doubt involve the president at a personal level.
Robert Carlyle came in for a one off episode as Jack's Special Forces friend, he was a great character and was not out of place and you believed they could have known each other.
Jon Voight made an appearance, and who knows if we will see him in season 7, he looks very serious and a storyline I can't wait to see develop with amazing consequences if we know Jack!
So all in all a brilliant 24 fix for us and I have just started to get stuck into Season 7 and will let you know !!
24 is one of the famous thriller TV series. American television channel FOX broadcasts it locally and also been syndicated worldwide. It mainly focuses on the 24 hour time of Jack Bauer's life. Jack Bauer is the agent of Los Angeles based CTU (Counter Terrorist Unit-fictional) fights against the terror attacks on America. Currently, it's airing the 7th season, in a sense 7th day of Jack Bauer's life fighting against crime and preventing the terror attacks.
It's one of the longest running Espionage thriller series in TV history, only behind Mission: Impossible.
It has gained immense popularity from viewers for its real time story-telling style, and very engaging sequences. Kiefer Sutherland played the central character as Jack Bauer in all seven seasons. Later he also contributed on writing some episodes as well. In case of season 7, Kiefer is also one of the executive producers of the series. 24: Redemption is mainly focuses and explains gap between season 6 and season 7 of 24 TV series. It has two versions. One version is 89 minute long and aired on SKY1 UK, last November, 2008. The extended version is 120 min long and also included the time that has been cut to include the commercial breaks while aired on TV networks.
End of season 6, Jack Bauer jumped off the helicopter while he and his ex-CTU director Bill went to the oil-rig to save Jack's nephew Josh from his criminal grandfather Phillip Bauer. Then, Jack went to his girlfriend's house and came to know that, her father did not wanted Jack to see her again just to secure her future life.
Jack was broken-hearted and went outside. This is where the story of 24: Redemption starts. It shows that, Jack is in a fictional African Country Sangala, in a missionary school governed by his good friend Carl Benton (Robert Carlyle). Unfortunately he ends up in a military coup.
On the other side, American senate is looking for jack for his unconventional torture methods on prisoners and wants him back to US and appears before them.
In Sangala, the rebel militaries try to attack the missionary school and take all the kids. They want these kids to become child soldiers and fight against the current government.
In US, new elected president Allison Taylor is about to take the power from former president Noah Daniels(Powers Boothe).
So, this movie revolves around how Jack able to save the kids and how Allison takes her presidency job and get along with presidential works and formalities.
This movie got very interesting plot to be precise. It is entirely not required to see the season 6 for better understanding this movie. But, it will be much easier for the viewers to understand the starting of 7th season.
I am a big fan of this TV series. I just love this series. It's really interesting and enjoyable. In this movie, we can see a big hearted character as Carl Benton; he takes care of the war kids and doing his missionary work. He is very dedicated for the safety of these kids. He always keeps a close eye for them.
My favorite character is Mr. Carl Benton for his selfless acts as he helps the kids and how he takes care of them. His facial expression is splendid. How he feels for Jack, wants to help him as a friend to settle down and honest dedication for child's safety takes his character to an ultra height. He is just outstanding in his role.
This movie also shows that, how people sometimes get so stupid and totally cold-blooded to go to the power, just for their own personal causes and benefits, they use these innocent kids as war weapon. This is very touchy and sad.
On the other hand, Director Jon masterfully depicted the internal politics in US presidential administration. I just appreciated it. The action sequences are simply superb. Indeed Jack Bauer is one of the self-sacrificing TV series heroes. I especially like the performance from little kid Willie. The way Jack communicates with Willie gives an impression that, Jack is really lonely person inside and misses his family and kids.
Mr. Kiefer gave his best performance in this movie. He is the most dedicated actor in this TV series and yet once again he proved it. He also was nominated for this performance as "Best Actor in a Miniseries or TV Film" at the 66th Golden Globe Awards but later this award gone to Paul Giamatti (John Adams).
All in all, I find this miniseries highly engaging and enjoyable. Brilliant story line and outstanding performances just makes this much more pleasurable. I definitely would recommend this to you.
If you did not watch it, please go and enjoy it. This is very entertaining and engaging movie. I bet you will enjoy it.
**Also been posted on CIAO under username Gladiator007**
WARNING MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS!
I had been itching to see the new season of 24, so this little interlude bridges the gap nicely. It starts off about a year or so after the events of Season 6 and finds Jack Bauer working as an African Missionary alongside one his former buddies, played with great charm by Robert Carlyle. Jack soon takes it upon himself to save a group of children and get to them the Embassy before they are kidnapped and turned in child soldiers.
Meanwhile, over in America, the President Alison Taylor is being sworn into office.
Kiefer Sutherland turns in another superb performance as the weary Jack Bauer. His grimace and trademark 'thank you's' are still in tact. Peter McNicholl and Powers Boothe deliver heavyweight turns as the er, heavyweights. But most interesting here is newcomer Cherry Jones as Alison Taylor, who shows great promise.
A lot of violence in this extended feature, plenty of bullets and wounding and some scenes to make you bite your lip. Bloodshed is higher than usual here.
Look out For:
Tony Todd playing a sinister African Army General. He brings menace and charm to the role
Sean Callery delivers his usual tense score, not much has changed here. On form as ever.
I actually really enjoyed it, though it seemed to be over quickly. Maybe that is just because I am used to the long running series. Sutherland is watchable as ever and the plot is believable and quite harrowing in parts. If you like the series, this is a pleasant stop gap
Before I start this review I just need to get one thing off my chest, Jack Bauer is my hero! I've watched every series of 24 so far and have loved each one (some more than others) so when I heard that there was going to be a 'film' I couldn't be more excited.
24 : Redemption is a bridge between the events of series six and series seven. The producers/writers felt that this was necessary to fill the huge gap between series due to the recent writers strike.
24 is normally set out in one hour episodes which are shown in 'real time', that is, one hour long episode represents one hour of the shows storyline. Its an interesting concept that really does work very well. I met the news of 24 : Redemption with interest, excitement, intrigue but also apprehension. How well would this idea work as a 'film'? The whole nature of the show would need to be changed surely? Well, to their credit, this does exactly what they intended to do. It lets us know what Mr. Bauer has been doing after series six (touring the world and helping a friend at an African Missionary) and sets the scene nicely for the beginning of series seven.
Kiefer Sutherland returns as Jack Bauer, a highly trained former government agent who has been trying to get his life back together after realising that he is unable to care for the woman he loves in the way that she needs. Robert Carlyle plays Carl Benton, Jack's old friend who is currently running a Missionary in Africa. The two cast members are convincing as old friends and the interaction between the two reinforce the strength of the storyline.
The events shown in 24 : redemption take place during the presidential inauguration so we also get to see a new President, this time Allison Taylor (played by Cherry Jones). Alot is made of her sons relationship with someone who is unearthing conspiracy of sorts so expect that to be a major plotline of series seven.
24 : Redemption is a decent enough 'film' and does provide a strong base for series seven but that is all it is. I didn't find it particularly entertaining, just a necessity before the real action begins in the next series.
Oh, we were so gutted when we watched this!! We were latecomers to the whole 24 series and absolutely devoured series 1 to 6, so when we heard about 24: Redemption we pre ordered it straight away. After watching we both just felt that we wasted an evening on this film.
The film works along the same lines as the rest of the series, but as it is only 83 minutes long, I have to say I don't really think the format works over such a short time. The story is that Jack Bauer is working in Africa as a missionary, still wanted by the US Government, and there is a local warlord forcing kids into his militia. Obviously Jack is on hand to stop all that!
The good points about this DVD are Robert Carlyle, who is fab as usual, and the preview for Season 7, which features a (very!) surprising return of a past well loved character. Although it does look as if he won't be quite so well loved this time! But I'm afraid that I think 24: Redemption is a pretty cynical money making exercise, and that 24 really doesn't work in an 83 minute feature film.
A review of the extended, unrated edition that can be downloaded from iTunes USA or bought on region 2 DVD.
OK, so you're the big boss of a television network and all your writers go on strike, delaying production of some of your key shows for months. Just when you think things can't get any worse, one of your leading men gets sent down for drink driving for 48 days just when filming on the long-awaited seventh season of your top-rated drama/thriller is about to start. What DO you do? The answer is simple. Wait until the leading man is released and hastily concoct a pointless "filler" between the last season and the next one.
Redemption takes place some time after the events of season 6. Jack Bauer has recently saved the world (for at least the sixth time) and goes into hiding in a desperate attempt to find some kind of peace. At the time of Redemption, we find Jack Bauer immersed in the cathartic practice of helping poverty-stricken African children to get an education in a Christian school being run by a former Irish marine named Carl Benton (Robert Carlyle). When a US official arrives at the site of the school demanding that Bauer surrenders to a court order for his arrest, he refuses and agrees with his Benton that it's time to move on. But a local coup suddenly threatens the lives of all the students he has been helping, and Bauer finds himself unwittingly caught up in a vicious struggle to prevent the local militia from forcing the children into combat.
To understand why Redemption is such a pitiful failure, you really need to appreciate what it is that makes 24 the series such a resounding success. Played out in real-time over a 24-hour period (do you see what they did there?), each series comprises a complicated, ever-twisting tale of terrorism and political intrigue. Over 24 episodes, the writers will pull more tricks out their sleeves than a magician's convention, turning heroes to villains and convincingly demonstrating that in America, it really is wise to trust no-one. The series relies on one key ingredient - time. It takes time to build things up, mix them around a bit and constantly throws in a curve ball or two to keep the audience on its toes.
Time is one thing that Redemption doesn't have. Produced for television as a ninety-minute special (roughly the equivalent of two normal episodes) and marketed as a movie, it literally has nowhere to go - fast. Unfortunately, the writer (Howard Gordon - a long-time contributor to the series) fails to acknowledge this and mistakenly thinks that he can successfully condense the format without impinging on the appeal.
There's a vague attempt at some political espionage that takes place back in Washington that has the usual sinister feel, but then draws to a close far too rapidly. Gordon introduces us to a new female president (incorrectly, perhaps, at the time of writing assuming that he would be mirroring real life) in a way that adds no real value other than to apparently link directly into the forthcoming season seven. But the Washington shenanigans are the least of the problem's shows.
The African storyline is completely at odds with pretty much everything that we've seen before. Yes, it amply demonstrates that Jack Bauer is, indeed, one of television's most selfless heroes ever and Kiefer Sutherland is as committed to the role more than ever. That aside, it's a tiresome, stereotypical portrayal of life in Africa that plays on the "America is civilised, Africa is not" idea that Hollywood never seems to tire of. The African action is, at least, gritty enough to give a realistic feel but is largely a plot device. Clearly, the writer wanted to contrive a believable means through which Bauer would voluntarily return to the States and largely succeeds but it's a resoundingly dull journey that gets us there. Indeed, for a format that is so short on running time, an enormous part of it (over a third) is largely wasted at the start when nothing seems to really happen at all. Ironically, despite having only the running length of two normal episodes, Redemption is quite definitely the most boring example of 24-style drama you ever will see. Worse still, the unrated edition just feels bloated - with ten or fifteen minutes of apparently pointless material added back in just to make it different to the version broadcast on TV.
Director Jon Cassar (another long-term contributor) is selective about the stylistic elements that he brings over from the TV series too. The split-screen format is still there, but is used to ill-effect, often splitting one scene into several images, without showing different perspectives (as is the intention.) The countdown is gone, largely because the show takes place over two hours, so there isn't much to countdown. Most disappointing of all is the absence of the signature telephones ringing in CTU offices because, clearly, none of the action takes place in CTU offices.
It's all shamefully lacklustre and a real disappointment for anyone with any real sense of anticipation induced by the delay to season 7. If Redemption is to be taken as preview of what is to come, then it really doesn't bode well, and this reviewer can only hope that this is nothing more than an ill-conceived blip in what is otherwise a reasonably consistent track record of quality television.
I watched this episode (one off!) after not having watched 24 since sometime in series 2! So I wasnt a complete unknown to 24, but I didnt have a clue what had happend in the past 4 series. I have to say I did enjoy redemption, although I got totally lost in places. I was unsure why Jack was in Africa and I didnt really understand all the chatter that was going on by the politicians. The main story line however with Jack saving a school of children from an army wanting child soldiers was very good. Like all 24 episodes redemption was action packed and left you wondering right until the last minute what was going to happen. I think the main point of redemption was to set you up for the beginning of series 7 so I will have to watch that now and see if I understand it. If you dont mind not understanding a few bits then redemption was a good hour or sos entertainment.
As a huge fan of the original series, I have been waiting for this for quite sometime. I believe the writers strike paved way for this to be delayed otherwise we would have seen it quicker. For those of you who have not seen any 24 then stay away from this as you will have no clue on back story and no clue as to how Jack ended up in Africa in the first place, grab yourself the Box set of series 1 to 6 and get cracking before series seven is released later this year. For fans, I would say that this is probably a breath of fresh air as we move away to the now quite familiar CTU and get Jack in the barren plains of Africa trying to help and old friend (Played by Robert Carlisle) make sure some African kids get sheltered from local rumours of soldier recruitment and get them safe passage to the USA for refuge. I think this sets the scene quite well between series and am now waiting with baited breath for the seventh incarnation. All in all, a right good yarn for fans but will mean nothing for non fans.
Ok first things first, Jack's backs! Hooray. It's been a long time but we can all breath a collected sign of relief!
I am a big 24 fan and have been since the start, back in the BBC days. The first series is by far and away the best series, but the rest is still good and better then 99% of the shows on TV. Back to Redemption, I haven't seen the DVD, I am commenting on the episode from Sky1. I think to the surprise of others I enjoyed the 2-hour format and it was good not to have to wait until next week for the conclusion as would be normal.
So Jack Bauer (Keither Sutherland) is in Africa, in a fictional country called Sangala, Jack is staying with his old friend Carl Benton (Robert Carlyle) who runs a school for young boys. Jack is planning to move onto his next destination, but nothing every runs smoothly for this man! A military coup is nearby and has their eyes on the schools boys to become child soldiers. This predictable results in the generals men coming to take the children, however Jack and Carl have something to say about this!
In a sub plot we see the run up to the inauguration of the next president of the USA in Washington, of Alison Taylor (Cherry Jones), this part also features some characters who have featured in previous series, the out going President Noah Daniels (Powers Boothe) and advisor Tom Lennox (Peter MacNichol) and introducing a hoard of potential new characters including the president elects family and Jonas Hodges (Jon Voght) who seems a particular nasty piece of work!
This double episode or film, call it what you will, leaves more questions than those that have been answered. As an introduction to the new series it is a good taster but if you have never seen 24 I wouldn't recommend it, go out and buy season 1 and sit back and enjoy. For all you 24 fans it is a must watch, which might leave you feeling a bit disappointed but sets you up for the next series, which is back on 12th January!
Unfortunately I haven't ad the pleasure to watch the extras but Im sure they are great!
- First look at the opening 17 minutes of series 7
- Making of 24 - Redemption
- "Blood never dry: child soldiers in Africa"
- Commentary by producer/director John Cassar, Howard Gordon and Kiefer Sutherland
- Season 6 summarised in four minutes
Finally, I've found something I can rant about! Apologies to 24 fans, this is written from the perspective of someone who hasn't seen a single episode. Yes I have been living under a rock, leave me alone.
Now don't get me wrong - I like a bit of action. A few explosions, men shooting each other out of helicopters and dashing about through the jungle popping off gunfire now and then, nothing wrong with that at all. Films like Blood Diamond and the Last King of Scotland and Hotel Rwanda do the whole 'evil' African people with guns and machetes really well - plenty of action without forgetting that (most of) the characters are more than mindless blokes with guns. You actually end up feeling for them by the end, and feel like you've spent two hours of your life in a productive endeavour that has improved your understanding yet another conflict in Africa.
24 - Redemption tries to do this using almost exactly the same formula in fact as the aforementioned. Evil African chap attempting a coup recruits child soldiers into army. UN bloke pretends to help but actually doesn't. Good guys must battle evil African chap to save the poor kiddies. Sounds pretty good to me.
Pity the entire film is inane twaddle then.
It may not help that I haven't seen any of the now seven series that have been made (although series 7 is yet to be shown), so perhaps other viewers may have felt some empathy towards Kiefer Sutherland's character, Jack Bauer. Sutherland is certainly a capable actor, having won a Golden Globe already for the first TV series and being nominated for one for his role in this film. He makes the most of some really awful writing to produce a character that is at least vaguely believable and likeable if entirely one-dimensional.
Robert Carlyle (playing Carl Benton, apparently an old friend of Jack's) is the only other breath of fresh air in the film, making the film better more because I know he's a good actor than any particular stunning performance in the film. He plays the nice white chap who looks after the orphans while the evil black people shoot each other.
There are two glaring problems I can see with the film, the first being the complete and utter lack of interesting story. The short summary above is about the measure of it, plus the fact that some woman becomes President of the US and doesn't do much else. There's a bit of annoying preaching about intervening to save innocents and protect democratic allies (since when has America done that?) plus the usual stab at the UN. The incompetence of the UN was highlighted to perfection in Hotel Rwanda - they do their best, but they can't do much. In 24 the single UN bloke in his truck is portrayed as a simple cowardly selfish villain, with no particular reasoning behind this other than that being what the public apparently imagines the UN's role to be.
The second problem is the fact that I couldn't care less what happened to any of the characters thanks to the completely non-existent character development. This is fair enough perhaps with regards to Jack, after six series I suppose the audience should know him fairly well. And even Carl I believe made some sort of appearance back in one of the old series, so perhaps I'd like them both more if I was a fan previously. But lobbing in new characters like the orphans without explanation and then expecting us to feel sorry for them...it just feels like some half-baked attempt to make the story emotional. Setting it in a fictional country called Sangala doesn't help either, making the place feel superficial and badly realised.
One final thing that often annoys me about action films (24 being, if anything, a worse offender than most) is the hero-with-tiny-pistol-easily-kills-baddies-with-assault-rifles-syndrome that seems to chronically afflict them. For goodness sake, is it not possible to come up with a more ingenious solution to the problem of lots of evil enemies than making your hero invincible?! It just makes the story even more boring and predictable.
Ok, rant over. Phew, glad I got that off my chest, I've obviously been writing too many gushy 5 star reviews lately. Indeed there may be a rational explanation for this disappointment of a film - it was written to serve as an interlude whilst the seventh series was written, the series having been delayed by the writers' strike in the US. This (I'm guessing) created twofold problems for the script - first there were only monkeys available to write it, and second they couldn't do anything interesting with the plot because it was just serving as an interlude. If anything actually happened, then the seventh series wouldn't make sense. Plus, having been written for TV in the US, there are numerous pauses (that get more frequent as the film builds to its crescendo) where the adverts are supposed to fit in, which, on DVD, just look stupid.
For 24 fans though, perhaps this is just what you need; with the back-story in place I imagine it would seem considerably less superficial, rambling and pointless, a good gap bridging device while you wait for the next series. For anyone else though, I advise you to treat it in a similar way you would a child soldier wielding a machete - pity it, but keep well clear.
Somehow, I didn't feel any urge to watch the extras at the time, and since it was a rental I no longer have the option. Nevertheless, they are as follows:
- First look at the opening 17 minutes of series 7
- Making of 24 - Redemption
- "Blood never dry: child soldiers in Africa"
- Commentary by producer/director John Cassar, Howard Gordon and Kiefer Sutherland
- Season 6 summarised in four minutes (oops, maybe I should have watched this actually)