Fortunately, Jacks knack of attracting trouble hasnt deserted him either, and quickly, its business as usual. Starting the series with a fresh romance, a different job and one heck of an explosion, it doesnt take long before Jack is back in action, and hes soon joined by a mixture of new and familiar faces.
To talk about the plot would be unfair, as 24 is consistently a dish best served cold. Suffice to say that theres a heady mix of plotlines, twists and downright brilliant cliffhangers. Perhaps the cocktail isnt as fresh as it once was, and there are moments where you cant help but feel that plausibility is being stretched a little too far. But accepting that is part and parcel of the 24 experience, and arguably part of the fun.
Thats because even as it approaches its final stages, 24: Series 4 maintains a tremendous momentum and level of intrigue, and by the time the clock ticks for the last time at the end of the 24th episode, odds are youll be thirsting for more. Bluntly, in spite of its flaws, 24 remains one of the most essential shows currently on television--and this series offers ample evidence why.--Simon Brew
Season 4 was not my favourite season, but it was still fantastic. Unlike seasons 2 & 3, it gets going straight away, with a massive train explosion in the first minutes, and you immediately become gripped by the action. The pace is maintained for the first 12 or so episodes, but halfway through it does slow down and begins to drag slightly in comparison. However, even 24 at its slowest is still faster-paced than most shows, and the action soon picks up again with some cracking final episodes that had me actually biting my nails.
As usual the regular actors all do a great job - Jack is intense and sexy, Tony does a brilliant job of portraying a hurt and confused man on the edge of giving up, and Chloe is consistently hilarious in her own off-beat way. The new characters are a bit more hit and miss - Erin Driscoll and Edgar Stiles are both brilliantly portrayed, but Marianne is very cliched, Curtis is boring without any personality, and Audrey is a little annoying - she appears shocked every time Jack has to hit someone.
Overall though it's amazing television, and the sort of programme that once you've bought the boxset, you'll end up watching about 6 episodes in a row because it's so exciting.
The boxset itself is attractively presented - a plastic book-style design with a glossy cover and a cardboard slipcase. I also have to say a word about the special features - WOW! An entire extra disc of features includes:
-Breaking Ground: Building the New CTU (approx 18 minute documentary on building the CTU set and shooting there)
-Blood on the Tracks (approx 15 min documentary on shooting the train explosion, including interviews with the directors and special effects guys)
-Lock and Load (short documentary on the weapons used)
-Nissan Short Film (a beautiful 20 minute promotional film - not much relevance to 24 though!)
-24 The Game (Kiefer Sutherland introduces a behind the scenes look at the PS2 game)
-The Longest Day music video (video for the trance version of the 24 theme)
AND A MASSIVE 40 deleted scenes, which can be watched with or without commentary from director Jon Cassall. Many of them are several minutes long and include entirely new characters or subplots. They also clear up lots of loose ends, such as what happened to Behrooz.
A word of warning though - try not to look at the pictures on the DVD menus, as they often show scenes from the ends of episodes, and can give some of the plot away. Other than that, buy it and enjoy!
The slight change to this series is the lack of "parallel plots" (e.g. Jack/ David/ Kim happening at the same time as in the other series) - but the sheer pace of whats happening means its not really noticable.
Roll on Series 5!
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