Friday, February 20, 2009

Jack Bauer and 24's Redemption

I have to admit, come Monday nights, at 9 PM Eastern, and 8 PM Central, you can’t reach me via telephone, so the lesson here is, don’t even try. On Monday nights my wife and I watch my favorite television show 24. The exploits of Jack Bauer played by Kiefer Sutherland has kept me captive for years now. I enjoy 24 so much that I always purchase the DVD season episodes when released. I got hooked when watching season 1 on DVD and found myself involved in a marathon of watching every episode in less than 2 days.

24 is written and directed by some of the best in television, not just television but all of film. This season started off somewhat different as it started as a movie episode titled Redemption. The prequel to this season picked up after season 6.

Jack, in the turmoil that has engulfed CTU has him going to Africa to the fictional country of Sangala. While there, he becomes involved in an upheaval and revolt against the countries current political leaders. In 24 Redemption Jack is staying with and helping a Children’s mission. When approached with conflict and the children being taken into slavery to fight in that countries civil war Jack resorts back to his old ways to provide safety and escape for the children.

In the spirit of the movie, Blood Diamonds and the powerful documentary, Invisible Children, 24 Redemption takes a powerful look at how children around the world are exploited. We see children taking up arms, trained for war, and used as tools to satisfy the lusts and desires of those seeking power. 24 Redemption is powerful because it opens the eyes of a viewing public who may not be aware of these types of activities. This particular episode holds the viewer captive and is directed in such a way that we find ourselves challenged as to the conditions of these children and our lack of action or knowledge. My wife and I were so moved that we decided to go through Compassion International and support a little girl through their program to help provide escape from the horror she faces on a day to day bases. 24 Redemption is a movie that used television to have a dramatic impact. A television program can do more than entertain; it can address important social issues.

In 24 Redemption, we see Jack go through a form of Redemption as he realizes the need of his own character to serve others. He has become consumed in himself and quickly realizes that the use of his talents and gifts has to be used for the right reason. Sutherland in his portrayal of Jack Bauer plays the character as few could. Going through his own issues in life for Sutherland plays a part that likely resembles his own search for meaning. In the character of Jack Bauer, we can learn as hopefully he has that life is sometimes about doing right. This concept not only complicates the story line we are used to in 24, it caused at least this one viewer to be drawn even more into the characters. We see a different Jack in 24 Redemption, it is a Jack that we hopefully see more of in the future.

There are many aspects of giving up ones life to save others illustrated in 24 Redemption. We see religion portrayed in a loving, caring way, especially towards innocent children. This episode shows the need to be aware of injustices on our planet, even if using a fictional country; the issues addressed are real. I was reminded of the Bible verse that states, how can we say we love God, if we see someone in need, have the means to provide for them and don’t? Thankfully movies like 24 Redemption challenges us and makes us aware of these issues.

24 the television series is in full swing now. The same captivating, cliff hanger stories continue as expected. The viewer is confronted with issues like torture, terrorism, political espionage, and more. We learn that the answers we seek in life are not always as easy as we think. Jack Bauer is the driving force for those issues and questions, but with Jack, as we see in 24 Redemption, we see a struggle with doing what is right. That is a struggle we are all confronted with, and it is a journey that keeps life just as exciting as a cliff-hanger episode of 24 if we allow.

The following is the official trailer for the television movie now available on DVD. If the video don't appear, just click on the following link:

The following video has interviews with the cast about Redemption

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1 comment:

Rhys Dowd said...

Heres my review on 24 Redemption :)

I love 24