You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

24: Redemption

Shot partly on location in South Africa, Fox's "24" movie gives Jack Bauer a new continent across which to righteously kick ass, as well as get his own chops busted in creative (read: tortured) ways.

Jack Bauer - Kiefer Sutherland Carl Benton - Robert Carlyle Frank Tramell - Gil Bellows Jonas Hodges - Jon Voight President Allison Taylor - Cherry Jones Henry Taylor - Colm Feore

Shot partly on location in South Africa, Fox’s “24” movie gives Jack Bauer a new continent across which to righteously kick ass, as well as get his own chops busted in creative (read: tortured) ways. “Redemption” not only teases the coming season’s new exotic threat but trots out the latest commander-in-chief, played by Cherry Jones. Cast like a feature, the project delivers two entertaining real-time hours, though that’s no assurance that Bauer’s seventh very long day (talk about a worst week) will avoid the program’s recent pattern of starting like gangbusters and limping toward the dawn.

In that regard, the writers strike came at a relatively propitious time — helping deaden the memory of the sixth chapter, which essentially came to a grinding halt after 18 hours or so, changed course, then nearly collapsed into Shakespearean silliness. It was a surprising if perhaps inevitable turn for a series built on improbable comebacks, following as it did an Emmy-winning year.

This prequel to “Day Seven” benefits not only from the change of venue but also from the luxury of incorporating so many first-rate actors, including Robert Carlyle as an old pal with whom former Counter-Terrorism Unit agent Jack (Kiefer Sutherland) has taken refuge, helping out a school for kids in war-torn Africa. Of course, anywhere Bauer lands is due for bad news, and a brutal military coup breaks out — not only imperiling Jack and his charges but creating an international crisis just as President-elect Taylor (Jones) is preparing to be sworn in.

More nefarious doings are afoot, and Jack — faced with a Senate subpoena back home — will, as usual, confront tough moral choices, continuing to suffer the torments of the damned to keep others safe. It’s the show’s central motif — how far U.S. values can be bent in the name of freedom and security — and one that has rightly made it a political lightning rod/Rorschach test, with the seriousness of reactions to Jack’s “Ends justifies the means” mindset largely dictated by one’s ideological leanings.

That’s a lot of weight to drag around, and “24” fares best when the show wriggles out from under it — playing like a thriller, as the movie does, with Sutherland barking lines like “Put down the weapon!” Carlyle also delivers a topnotch performance, as does a teeth-gritting Powers Boothe in a cameo as the outgoing president.

The movie’s title, in fact, carries perhaps an unintended double meaning, inasmuch as another strong year would, indeed, provide the series a measure of redemption from “Day Six.” Granted, on the seventh day even God supposedly rested, but based on a high-octane closing preview of what’s to come, there’ll be no such luxury for Jack Bauer.

Popular on Variety

24: Redemption

Fox, Sun. Nov. 23, 8 p.m.

Production: Filmed in South Africa and Los Angeles by Teakwood Lane Prods. in association with Imagine Television and 20th Century Fox Television. Executive producers, Brian Grazer, Howard Gordon, Evan Katz, Jon Cassar, Kiefer Sutherland, Manny Coto, David Fury; co-executive producers, Stephen Kronish, Brad Turner, Alex Gansa, Brannon Braga, Juan Carlos Coto; producers, Michael Klick, Paul Gadd; director, Cassar; writer, Gordon.

Crew: Camera, Rodney Charters; production designers, Joseph Hodges, Henri Du Rand; editor, Scott Powell; music, Sean Callery; casting, Debi Manwiller, Peggy Kennedy. RUNNING TIME: 120 MIN.

Cast: Jack Bauer - Kiefer Sutherland Carl Benton - Robert Carlyle Frank Tramell - Gil Bellows Jonas Hodges - Jon Voight President Allison Taylor - Cherry Jones Henry Taylor - Colm Feore

More Scene

  • 10 Storytellers to Watch

    Variety Celebrates Inaugural 10 Storytellers to Watch Event

    Storytellers from across the spectrum of entertainment — film, literature, podcasting and play writing — were honored Thursday at Variety’s inaugural 10 Storytellers to Watch luncheon at Gramercy Park Hotel, hosted with partner the Independent Filmmaker Project and presented by Audible. Honorees Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah, author of “Friday Black”; “Limetown” podcasters Zack Akers and Skip Bronkie; [...]

  • Demi Moore Corporate Animals

    Demi Moore Teases Upcoming Memoir 'Inside Out,' Talks 'Corporate Animals' Team Bonding

    As Demi Moore gears up for the Sept. 24 release of her autobiography “Inside Out,” the actress says she feels like a weight has been lifted. “Even the stuff that I may have been nervous about is completely lifting…because it’s a process,” Moore told Variety at the premiere of her upcoming film “Corporate Animals” at [...]

  • Connie Britton BlogHer Summit

    Connie Britton on ‘Friday Night Lights’ Remake: ‘You Need to Let it Go’

    Connie Britton opened up at a fireside chat Wednesday at the #BlogHer19 Creators Summit in Brooklyn by talking about one of her most beloved roles — Tami Taylor in the fan favorite series “Friday Night Lights.” When asked if a remake of the sports cult film and Emmy-winning TV show is in the works she [...]

  • Mariah Carey Tracee Ellis Ross

    Mariah Carey, Tracee Ellis Ross Celebrate Biracial Heritage at “Mixed-ish” Premiere

    Mariah Carey and Tracee Ellis Ross embraced their “ish” at Tuesday night’s series premiere event for ABC’s “Mixed-ish” by reflecting on how their biracial identity makes working on the new show even more personal. “I’m just so thankful that this show exists,” Carey told the assembled crowd during a Q&A with series creator Kenya Barris. [...]

  • #WorldIsInOurHands Campaign

    Rainn Wilson, Rosario Dawson, Joaquin Phoenix And More Join #WorldIsInOurHands Campaign

    At the 44th annual Toronto Film Festival last week, in addition to attending red-carpet premieres and promoting films, some stars also joined in the fight to tackle the climate crisis. Antonio Banderas, Susan Sarandon, Joaquin Phoenix, Rainn Wilson, Rosario Dawson, Neve Campbell and Alfre Woodard are among the bold-faced names to join forces with the [...]

  • Hopper Reserve

    Dennis Hopper's Dying Wish: His Own Strain of Marijuana

    Even as celebrity brands are starting to flood the emerging Cannabis market, Hopper Reserve stands out. The brand was launched by Marin Hopper, Dennis Hopper’s daughter from his marriage to Brooke Hayward. Hopper Reserve is a gram of California indoor-grown flower, two packs of rolling papers, a pair of matches and a trading card either [...]

  • Lowell Smokes Cafe Marijuana

    With Cannabis Lounges, On-Site Consumption, Marijuana-Infused Meals Go Legit

    Can this century’s Roaring ’20s repeat history but with pre-rolled joints instead of whiskey flasks and soccer moms as the new flappers? This month, West Hollywood will see the opening of the nation’s first at least quasi-legal cannabis consumption lounge, officially dubbed Lowell Farms: A Cannabis Café, located at 1211 N. La Brea between Fountain [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content