May be even bet­ter than the orig­i­nal TV se­ries

China Daily (Canada) - - LIFE -

tracked counter-ter­ror­ist agent Jack Bauer through eight sea­sons of 24 hour­long episodes that spanned a full day in real-time sto­ry­telling as he lit­er­ally saved the day while slough­ing off phys­i­cal abuse that would’ve put Su­per­man in in­ten­sive care.

Now it’s Sergeant Eric Carter who’s hav­ing a hor­ri­ble, no good, very bad day. Or ac­tu­ally, HALF-day: This 24 spans a dozen episodes stretch­ing 12 con­tin­u­ous hours.

Played by Corey Hawkins, Carter is the newinde­fati­ga­ble hero. He’s joined by an all-new group of char­ac­ters in­clud­ing Re­becca In­gram (played by Mi­randa Otto), a bril­liant in­tel­li­gence of­fi­cer who has just stepped down from her post as Na­tional Di­rec­tor of the Counter-Ter­ror­ism Unit to de­vote her full en­er­gies to the pres­i­den­tial cam­paign of her hus­band, Sen­a­tor John Dono­van (Jimmy Smits), whose long­time cam­paign di­rec­tor may or may not threaten his can­di­dacy— and the na­tion.

The trou­ble started six months ago in Ye­men, where Carter led an elite squad of US Army Rangers to kill ter­ror­ist leader Sheik Bin-Khalid. Af­ter that, Bin-Khalid’s fol­low­ers struck back with a fat­wah against Carter, his squad and their fam­i­lies, which forced them all into fed­eral wit­ness pro­tec­tion.

But in the pre­miere, Carter, liv­ing with his wife in peace­ful, bor­ing se­crecy, learns to his hor­ror that his team’s new where­abouts have all been com­pro­mised. Pay­back against them and mul­ti­ple at­tacks against the US are in the works.

It may be hard to re­call, but 24 was an enor­mously in­no­va­tive and am­bi­tious se­ries when it launched. There’s a real ship-in-a-bot­tle chal­lenge to craft­ing a com­plex, ac­tion­packed thriller suf­fi­ciently con­tained in time and space that it can un­fold co­her­ently, minute-by-tick­ing-minute, while it keeps its leading man in the cen­ter of the fray.

By the time Jack Bauer wheezed through one fi­nal 12-hour round of der­ring-do in 2014, it would have been rea­son­able to con­clude that this once-ground­break­ing for­mat had, like Bauer, run its course — and also rea­son­able to think that Jack Bauer was es­sen­tial to the 24 fran­chise.

Wrong on both counts. The sturdy for­mat of 24 proves here to be sur­pris­ingly re­silient. Re­plen­ished with new faces, the orig­i­nal for­mula is back not just in­tact but in full force.

In the highly ca­pa­ble hands of Hawkins-as-Carter and his fel­low cast of char­ac­ters, 24: Legacy out­paces pesky rea­son. It’s a fresh burst of adren­a­line, a breath­less whiz-bang romp that guar­an­tees you’ll be on high alert un­til the clock strikes 12.

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