24: Redemption Review - The Intrepid

Monday, November 24, 2008

24: Redemption Review

24 RedemptionTake that U.N.!

If there is one thing that I was able to take away from Jack Bauer’s latest adventure in 24: Redemption, it’s that U.N. peacekeepers are nothing but sniveling cowards.

The two hour made for tv movie primarily takes place in the fictional African nation of Sengala. On the same day the first female President of the United States takes office, Jack finds himself in the middle of a military coup. Apparently after Season 6, Jack found his way to Africa and is now working with a former army buddy to help run a school for Sangalanese children.

As the coup unfolds, Jack is forced to protect the Sangalanese school children from a vicious warlord who wants to enlist the children in his child army.

In standard 24 form, Jack becomes a one man army and easily shoots his way through the warlord’s forces.

Of course, it wouldn’t be 24 if Jack didn’t get captured and bloodied up. After watching Jack get tortured each and every season, I almost feel sorry for the poor sap in the movie who thinks he can get Jack to tell him the location of the school kids . Come on, searing his flesh with a burning hot machete? I saw Jack have his heart stopped in Season 2 and continue to kick ass. A little cauterized flesh isn’t going to get him to talk.

24: Redemption adheres to 24’s real time format, though it cheats a little more than usual and allows characters to cover staggering distances in mere minutes.

The movie is so-so. Decent action scenes are broken up by boring scenes in Washington. Overall, not Jack’s best outing, but an entertaining romp none-the-less.

The most interesting thing about the movie is the references to Rwanda. Even Kiefer Sutherland has indicated that the movie was inspired by the Rwandan Genocide.

“The truth is, one of the things that was said in the prequel, which I think has been a massive problem with how the Western World has dealt with Africa,” said Bauer in an interview. “No one can justify going there, because they have no viable reason -- meaning oil or money.”

The U.N. operative is perhaps the most visible critique of how Rwanda was handled by the international community (by which the producers mean Europe). The operative is depicted as an incompetent weasel (with a strong European accent). Everything the peacekeeper does is to save his hide. He doesn’t help Jack fight the warlords, but instead opts to hide with the children.

“Why don’t you go hide in the shelter with the rest of the children,” yells Jack as him as he refuses to fight.

He later abandons Jack and the children, to which Jack replies, “He wants to save himself. He knows the children will be targeted by the militias.”

In the end, the character eventually sells out Bauer and the children to save his life after being captured by soldiers.

In another scene, Jack confronts a child soldier with an AK-47. When Jack asks the child to lower the weapon, the kid responds, “Destroy the cockroaches.” As Paul Fahri writes in the Washington Post, Hotel Rwanda seems to have informed a lot of the story.