21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
May be some spoilers for series 1-3,
By A Customer
This review is from: 24: Season Four DVD Collection [DVD] (DVD)
After a 3 day blitz i have finished watching 24 series 4 and can happily say its a return to form for the show after the awful series 3. Get the DVD, and don't bother with Sky, the ad breaks ruin the real time concept. Also, DO NOT watch the opening credits, look at the disc surfaces, the back of the box, or the pictures in the dvd episode menus, as these all give away returning characters, OK? I was glad to see that the show only started with Jack an Chloe from the old brigade, as season 3 was stretching the idea of the same people saving the world a third time. The new characters are believable and mostly likeabe. Its even funny watching Chloe and fellow tech analyst Edgar going head to head with equally blunt personality disorders. Some old characters do come back, but in a more believable way than S3, when Nina and Sherry were roped in for no real reason.
The acting is generally good, as Kiefer has really honed his character of Jack to perfection, and has good dramatic material to work with as he is torn between his new girlfriend and his job. The story starts with Jack working as an assistant to the secretary of defense, whose daughter he is in love with. When they both get kidknapped by (surprise, suprise) evil arab terrorists, Jack forces his way back into CTU to rescue them, and discovers that their abduction was just the start of the dangers on the horizon. What is different about this series is that there are several climaxes, compared to 2 in series 1 (presidential assasination attempt, capturing the Drazens) 2 in series 2 (stopping the nuke, averting war) and 2 in series 3 (stopping the drug barons, finding the virus). The different threats are plausible and keep the viewer hooked. Unfortunately once again, the show is going after foreigners. Not since Gaines has the USA been threatened by an American terrorist cell. We've had Slavs, Arabs, Europeans, Mexicans, the British, and now arabs again as the enemy, as well as the Chinese. The show's attitude to islamic fascism is much more crude than in series 2, and the only arabs shown in a good light are those who have been completely americansised. Not to sound like Mr.Moore, but the rightwing nature of Fox TV has been transferred to the script, where the only anti-war pacifist figure is a cowardly homosexual.
The tone of this series is different from the first three, as everything feels bigger and more Hollywood. Sadly, Sean Callery's normally edgy and atmospheric music has become a little too grandiose and overblown for the show. The action is worth a mention. If you thought the season 2 finale was impressive, the body count in this season is obscene, with Jack literally taking down well over 60 people by the end of the day. Even Chloe machine guns a terrorist at one point.
This series is a depature from the previous seasons in terms of style and scale, and whether you think this is a good thing is a personal choice. I still think the first two seasons where the best. What is significant is that this season shows that the 24 team can still make an innovative sequel that is plausible, and worth watching. Every 24 fan should get this series, but don't expect much from the special features, which are a bit to tech-heavy for my liking.