24: Live Another Day
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24: Live Another Day

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"Just what I thought I was out, they pull me back in." This is one of just many famous lines that have come out of the Godfather series, but it is also a sentiment that inevitably appears not only in film, but in real life. Lately, this is a statement that might have been muddied by some actors who have been action stars in younger years, but now have matured to the age been most would think those days were behind. With Bruce Willis reigniting is ‘Die Hard’ franchise and Harrison Ford revisiting one of his most famous action characters, ‘Indiana Jones’, it was only a matter of time before the trend confused television. For eight years after the calendar change to the 21st century, TV, had the ultimate action hero in the persona of Jack Bauer played to perfection by Kiefer Sutherland. The series had just the perfect blend of archetypes and tropes familiar to audience members who crave excitement as well as an innovative new means of structuring the television series. The premise of each episode, and therefore the overall arc of the series, was set in the dark and untrustworthy world of international espionage and terrorism. A number of other theories have gone down this path with quite a few yielding excellent results. What was different about the series ‘24’ was brilliantly novel proving to be exceptionally captivated. Each season consists of 24 episodes, each one spanning a single hour within the context of the story. Events unfolded in real time, adding to the sense of urgency that was palpably transferred to the audience.

The real-time technique has been used previously, most notably the early Alfred Hitchcock opus, ‘Rope’ in the independent experimental film, ‘Run Lola Run’, but different timelines were explored each in real time. When it comes to depicting real life and one of the most infamous acts of terrorism, ‘United 93’ inexorably towards the audience into a moment in history that was truly one that depicted the best and worst qualities of mankind. With ‘24’, such goal explored themes as a confirmed terrorist attack or the assassination of a high-ranking political executive, the real-time aspect in many ways infused the audience that the sense they were watching breaking news rather than a fictional story.

Although officially titled ‘24: Day 9’, the title used in most promotion was the more dramatic ‘24: Live another Day.’ In keeping with the real-time motif, the opening hour takes place four years at the conclusion of the previous season back in 2010. In this instance it was a combination and had to be made in order to obtain approval for this extra season. Only 12 episodes were allotted to tell the story. Each of the first 11 taking place in the usual one-hour increments, but the final episode is one hour real-time after a break of 12 hours. Confused, that’s understandable, but for diehard fans of the show. This is a small price to pay for another day in the extraordinary life of Jack Bauer. Keeping true to the form established throughout the series. There are a couple of main story arcs derived from ticking clock scenarios, masterfully intertwined with the number of subplots, each involving specific aspects of character development. This may seem like a lot to keep track of crammed into one season, but under the exceptional oversight of the series creators, Robert Cochran and Joel Surnow is amazingly cohesive; a tapestry of political intrigue, personal drama in a man logo is quite expert dealing with such crises find the once again carry an extraordinary burden of saving the world.

The public outcry against the use of drones has been steadily increasing with many groups making their ire known. As the new season begins, a group of protesters have gathered in front of the United States Embassy in London. Inside the building is the president of the United States. James Heller (William Devane), who was there to engage in talks concerning keeping a US military base located in the country open. A group of CIA agents stationed in London have located Jack Bauer and apprehended. Once the head of the American Counter Terrorist Unit (CTU), do to his use of interrogation techniques that can only be called torture, Bauer’s relationship with the government has been very tenuous descending into adversarial. CIA agent station in London, Kate Morgan (Yvonne Strahovski), has been forced to resign because of our husband’s conviction for allegedly committing treason by selling American secrets of the enemy. She is quickly reinstated and is one of the first to suspect that Bauer committed himself to be seized in order to further whatever plan you might have. As it turns out she’s not wrong, Jack is indeed attempting to infiltrate the CIA in order to locate and contact his former associate and computer technician Chloe O'Brian (Mary Lynn Rajskub), although Jack is vehemently disapproving of the group she currently works with, Open Cell.

Known terrorist Margot Al-Harazi (Michelle Fairley), and her cadre, have obtained possession of six U. S. drones. There plot is to use these aircraft to mount a coordinated terrorist attack against the city of London. As if this isn’t enough to fill a man’s day, Cheng Zhi (Tzi Ma), former head of security for the Chinese Council in Los Angeles, has diverted American weapons, deploying them against his former country, China. When members of the Chinese government realize the origin of the reference for American they come to the conclusion that this was a unilateral attack against their country. This brings the true world superpowers to the precipice of all-out war. At this time, the United States government is in the midst of trying to form a treaty regarding the use of various weapons, including drones. With two separate instances of weapons falling into hostile control ports without treaty but seriously derailed. One of the character driven side plots alluded to above; President Heller is suffering from the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. The Chief of Staff for the President, Mark Boudreau (Tate Donovan), has used the president condition to forge his signature. Adding a little more convolutions of the plot, albeit previously established in prior seasons, Boudreau’s wife Audrey (Kim Raver) is a senior policy analyst for her father, the President.

Although foreshortened from the traditional 24 episodes, his ninth season still manages the pack the same punch that propelled the show to cult status in the previous decade. By limiting the jump in time between the 11th and 12th hour, the breakneck pace that instilled the series with such incredible excitement is undiminished. The political intrigue founded on frighteningly possible situations unerringly target fears that audience understandably maintain. For the millions of people who are faithfully follow the exploits of Jack Bauer over the eight most stressful days of his life, will naturally greatly appreciate his ninth season. It is very much like revisiting old friends, if your friends happen to be involved with global terrorism. Reuniting so many of the original cast to reprise their roles permitted the established characters and situations to retain their continuity. Even if you were not previously a fan of the show, the story is presented here is sufficiently self-contained so as not to hinder your enjoyment.

Solitary: Exclusive storyline extension not aired on TV. A favorite character returns.
Worlds Collide: When Reality Becomes Fiction: Behind-the-scenes featurette about how real-life news stories and current political events inspired the storylines of 24: Live Another Day
Destination: London: Behind-the-scenes featurette on filming 24: Live Another Day in London
Deleted / Extended Scenes

Posted 11/01/2014

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