Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Final Thoughts On "24: Live Another Day"

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Sorry this is so late, but once again I've been playing PS3 for awhile now and just haven't felt like writing an article for awhile. So, it's high time we talk about "24: Live Another Day", the "24" revival mini-series. Long story short, it was FANTASTIC, but I'll get into why, after the break.

"24', ever since it concluded in it's lackluster 8th Season has left a bitter taste in my mouth and was prepared to go down as one of those shows that started off good and slowly declined as the season went on, with less than memorable and generic bad guys, recycled plots and twists that became expected rather than shocking. This was the unfortunate legacy that "24" was leaving behind, that is until "Live Another Day" came along. "24" writers and producers were talking about doing a movie and eventually just settled on doing a mini-series consisting of 12 episodes, needless to say I was apprehensive at first about it, because I wasn't sure it'd have the same "Umph" as the old "24" did, and in some regards it didn't and that's kinda what made it better.

For starters we have Jack Bauer basically running around without a leash, which gave us that amazing scene where Jack tosses Margot Al-Harazi out a window (that was totally awesome) and while we're on the subject, in an article I wrote when I first started this blog, I suggested that "24" hasn't had a female villain (I know, you guys are going to bring up Naked Mandy and Nina but they were more enhanced henchmen then the ones giving the orders, that's why I'm not counting them). Margot Al-Harazi was a pretty serious threat and a villain unlike the others we've seen before. Her motives weren't political or highly convoluted like others in later seasons of "24", her motives were personal and specifically tailored for President Heller. I like personal enemies and not to mention her commandeering of drones was much more threatening than Abu Fayed and Gredenko's drones in Season 6.

With the set up of Luet. Tanner, it was made clear Margot was not meant to be flexed with and when she drone struck a hospital just to keep her daughter from talking, that was pretty awesome and nice to see a villain go all the way to get their point across. Switching gears to President Heller, I liked the alzhimer's angle, while it didn't come up as often as it should've, it was handled rather well in my opinion. I was thinking that when Mark signed the rendition order he would attempt to convince President Heller that he did in fact sign it and forgot about it and move to have Heller removed from office (perhaps if they had more time to do so). But Mark wasn't malicious in his forging of signatures and therefore wasn't much of a bureaucratic asshole like previous presidential aides in the latter seasons.

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This is awesome though.

Audrey being lit up by some nameless random Chinese terrorist, that was a low blow. Considering where we left Audrey in Season 6, cowering like a meth addict and reduced to a vocabulary so limited that compared to her automated messaged had more personality, it was good to see her out and about and also staunchly defending Jack Bauer when a resurfaced. Listen, Jack Bauer has lost lovers SINCE THE SERIES BEGAN (quick list: Teri Bauer, Claudia, Audrey Raines, Rene Walker) and thus far the only two women who haven't died have been Kate Warner and Diane Huxley. Did Audrey really have to get wrapped up by a bullet? No, but I guess it happened to perpetuate the Bauer Curse (as mentioned in Season 6, everything he touches dies) and it did give us a REAL sense of stuff getting real and putting the situation in the most negative circumstances ever.

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Rest In Peace, Audrey.

Speaking of circumstances let's talk about the return of Cheng Zhi. As I mentioned in the previous article, the thing that'd clinch this series is the return of a familiar face on the bad side. I racked my brain to figure out who was alive to fill in the guest villain position (and I KNEW there had to be) and I actually said "OH SH*T!" when Cheng Zhi appeared. While started off as simply a menace, he quickly became one of Jack's most hated foes and the only man to have successfully captured Bauer (Season 5's awesome finale), and remember The Chinese surrendered Bauer to America, Jack didn't escape and he wasn't released, he was surrendered...to be executed. Needless to say, Cheng Zhi is a bad mofo. This redeemed his useage in Season 6, and while he was a threat, it was kinda jumbled about his motives and what he was doing (to get technical superiority over Russia, but whatever).

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Cheng was just as ruthless and he needed to be and once again he didn't have a leash either. The incident he nearly caused between China and America was pretty darn ballsy and was probably the biggest incident to happen on "24" next to the near war that was almost had in Season 2. Considering both China and America are nuclear superpowers, if that war would've popped off, it would have been GAME OVER! So the threat this season was scary and serious. In conclusion, "24: Live Another Day" gave us the conclusion to The Jack Bauer Story we deserved with Jack finally calling it quits and surrendering himself to the Russians, this may not be the last we see of Jack Bauer, but probably will be. Jack's probably in some gulag outside of Serbia running the yard and threatening to shove liquor soaked towels down people's throat and pull out their stomach lining with it (Shout out, Ted Cofell!). This time Jack doesn't ride off into the sunset but faces the consequences of his actions like a man. Great conclusion and it validated the nonsense of the latter seasons. Knowing the series ends like this instead of how it ended in Season 8 put this back in the hall of good series and resorted it's standing with me. How's about you ? Let me know and I'll see you guys later.

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