24: Legacy, where Dr Dre takes over from Jack Bauer, who is reportedly not in thils new 12-part series at all… so I expect he’ll turn up at some point.
NOTE: This review first started off as a look at the first two episodes, but I’ve now updated it so it also now adds a look at the season as a whole in the final paragraph.
I say Dr Dre, but the main man is Corey Hawkins, who played the rapper as part of NWA in the superb Straight Outta Compton, but here, he’s ex-army bod, Eric Carter, who’s a bit miffed as he’s one in a long line of his group who are being offed one by one by baddies looking something they can’t find, a strongbox belonging to their leader, Bin Khalid – who has been planning an attack on US soil, containing…? Well, you’ll find out in this opening two-parter which takes place from 12-2pm.
With the baddies on their tail, like Bauer always was, Eric and wife Nicole (Anna Diop) are on the run for their lives, the soldier checking in on one of the surviving teammates, Ben Grimes (Charlie Hofheimer), whose gone off the grid and lost most of his marbles.
In another part of the story, student Drew (Zayne Emory) thinks his ex, Amira (Kathryn Prescott), is a terr -orist, but she looks so sweet and innocent, so how can she be? Their teacher, David (Kevin Christy), certainly has some interesting thoughts on the matter over this opening period.
The cast also includes Jimmy Smits as a Senator, whose full story has yet to be introduced, but in what is effectively season 10 of ‘24‘, it quickly falls into the same old tropes of having staff like Rebecca Ingram (Miranda Otto) trying to track the bad guys without letting their bosses know, even though they’re doing the right thing!
And as the second episode ended, there are cliffhangers aplenty, just like old times… but you know they’ll all get out of them, so what’s the point?
There’s a neat addition with hot CTU girl Mariana (Coral Peña), who we learn is the cousin of Edgar Stiles, the corpulent chap who bought the farm due to a nerve gas attack within CTU in season 5, and she’s much more savvy than the others give her credit for, even if she’s fresh out of college.
Corey Hawkins makes a decent fist of his role, and the show does have that ‘24‘ feel – including the same shaky camerawork and end-of-part time counter, making it a comfortable, casual watch, but not particularly engaging, but is that really what Fox paid millions of dollars out for – to resurrect the franchise and have viewers think at best that it’s “okay”?
And a spoiler heading for a rather dum scene…
As I mentioned earlier, this review was originally just for the first two episodes, but now, having watched the full series, I’d give it 5/10 overall, too.
It’s not terrible, but then it does nothing new, nor pushes the boat out whatsoever. All the good guys and girls are fine, and the same goes for the bad ones. There’s the occasional shock and a twist or two that don’t pan out the way you expect, but then again there’s an awful lot which does exactly what you expect. Hawkins is okay as a ‘black Jack Bauer’ but doesn’t have the same gritty feel as the original character. You know whatever situation comes along, he’ll get through it, even if he doesn’t really deserve to do so.
Bringing in Coral Peña as Mariana Stiles, the cousin of Edgar Stiles who died in season 5, was a nice touch, since she was performing the same job as him, but once the brief mention had been made early on, there were no further callbacks to earlier seasons for her character. Perhaps a longer series would’ve fleshed out her character a bit more, but then 24: Live Another Day showed we really don’t need more than 12 episodes to tell the same story, these days.
The return of an old favourite (named in the credits below under a spoiler heading) was also welcome, and their character made sense to be in that role, but again, what they’re tasked with is neither bad nor amazing… it’s all just fine. And it needs to be MORE than fine to make you glad 24 returned.
A further season hasn’t yet been given the go ahead, but personally, I don’t really care whether it comes back or not.
Overall Score: 5/10
Series Directors: Stephen Hopkins, Jon Cassar, Nelson McCormick, Bronwen Hughes and Henry Alex Rubin
Producer: Jon Paré
Screenplay: Manny Coto and Evan Katz
Music: Sean Callery
Eric Carter: Corey Hawkins
Rebecca Ingram: Miranda Otto
Nicole Carter: Anna Diop
Keith Mullins: Teddy Sears
Isaac Carter: Ashley Thomas
Andy Shalowitz: Dan Bucatinsky
Mariana Stiles: Coral Peña
Ben Grimes: Charlie Hofheimer
Henry Donovan: Gerald McRaney
Nilaa Mizrani: Sheila Vand
John Donovan: Jimmy Smits
David Harris: Kevin Christy
Amira Dubayev: Kathryn Prescott
Drew Phelps: Zayne Emory
Thomas Locke: Bailey Chase
Asim Naseri: Oded Fehr
Sidra: Moran Atias
Ibraham Bin-Khalid: Eli Danker
Donald Simms: James Moses Black
Saeed Hammad: Ismail Bashey
Ara Naseri: Seanna Pereria
Theo: Michael Aaron Milligan
FBI Agent Dietrich: Alex Collins
Bin Khalid Jihadi: Vishal Patel
Malik: Saad Siddiqui
Rashid: Dylan Ramsey
Aisha: Tiffany Hines
Amy: Aynsley Bubbico
And one more, whose name is listed on IMDB, but I’ll keep them hidden here….