24: SEASON 8
MOVIE: ***1/2 (out of 5)
DVD EXPERIENCE: ***1/2 (out of 5)
BY KEVIN CARR
WHAT IT’S ABOUT
The eighth day is Jack Bauer’s last… at least on television. Kiefer Sutherland stars as the counter-terrorist agent Jack Bauer, who helps the New York branch of CTU help prevent the assassination of a foreign diplomat. While political extremists fight to bring nuclear materials into the Big Apple, Bauer uncovers plans within plans of the current administration and CTU itself.
WHAT I LIKED
I came late to the “24” table, but I have thoroughly enjoyed the series since I started watching it in season five. Without the baggage of the first few seasons, it’s been easy to overcome some of the regret that comes with a series extending over the better part of a decade.
Like previous seasons of “24,” there has been plenty of action and some real threats. You cannot help but get behind Jack Bauer throughout the season, even though he actually takes a bit of a back seat in several of the episodes. There are also some strong new characters, played (sometimes surprisingly well) by Freddie Prinze Jr. and Katee Sackoff.
The best thing I can say about this season of “24” is that like its previous incarnations, there’s plenty of twists and turns to carry the plot through the entire day. It’s not just a single plan that is getting enacted, but rather a string of terrifying events that cause definite threats.
Also, with this being the final season of the groundbreaking cinematic show, we get to see some things wrap up rather nicely. We have enough openings to continue with the long-planned “24” feature film, but there’s also some closure on the fans’ favorite characters. And being the final season of the show on television, we get a few older characters to show up again, for better or for worse in the grand scheme of the story.
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE
Compared to the other three seasons I have seen of “24,” this is probably the weakest in terms of story and motivation. A lot of this comes from burn-out rather than actually poor writing. After seven seasons, it’s impossible to not repeat various stories and plot twists. So much is crammed into a season that when things get revealed throughout Day 8, we cannot help but think back to the two or three times we’ve seen these things before.
Additionally, the overall storyline seemed a bit of a stretch in Season 8, especially with the motivations of President Alison Taylor (who has never had the commanding power of previous TV Presidents).
In this sense, it’s clear with this season that “24” is ending its run. Godspeed, good show. As sad as I was to see you go, it was probably your time.
This six-disc set includes select extended episodes and several deleted scenes. There’s also “Scenemakers” (basic behind-the-scenes featurettes) on 21 of the 24 episodes, as well as a look at shooting for the Big Apple in “Virtually New York” as well as a look at designing the east coast CTU in “The Ultimate CTU.”
WHO’S GOING TO LIKE THIS MOVIE