24 – Seventh Season DVDs 4-6 – Bitter Victory

Country: United States
Genre: Action
Director: Various
Year: 2008

Rating: ★★★½☆

TRASH CINEMA RECOMMENDED MOVIE

The good news is that the second half of Season 7 is a big improvement over the first half. After the African storyline is wrapped up in not very spectacular fashion, the show starts to delve into ideas about a Blackwater type private military contractor outfit called Starkwood. That’s fertile ground for the show.

The bad news is the direction the show’s creators have chosen to take Carlos Bernard’s character, Tony Almeida. At one point, Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) tells Tony that he is dishonoring his wife Michelle’s memory. The same could be said of the show’s creators. I still think they should have left Tony in the ground where he belonged.

But the creators of the show seem determined to make this season the most bitter yet. All of the likeable characters are forced to endure crushing losses, often at the hands of people they trust.

That said, there’s a great deal of suspense in the second half of the season. There are plenty of the dramatic reversals the series is known for. Nothing as hair-raising as the President Palmer years, but that’s a damned near impossible bar to clear.

Carlos Bernard does about as well with the character as he can, but he shouldn’t be there in the first place. Jon Voight is lots of fun as Jonas Hodges. Cherry Jones does phenomenal work as President Taylor. Actually, the writers don’t let Jones down. They have given her very Presidential lines to utter and have given her unimaginably hard choices to make. She’s the show’s real hero. As always, Kiefer Sutherland earns his pay, but he just doesn’t have any signature Jack moments this season.

The seventh season of 24 is suspenseful and involving, almost in spite of itself, due to the professionalism of the show’s writers and creators. To be fair, the writers provide some fairly diverting material for the second half of the season.

The show’s finale makes clear that the story elements for season 7 will be carried over into season 8. This is bad news, as season 7 of 24 is probably the weakest of the show’s run.

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