TV review: 24: Legacy, FOX (3 stars)

TV review: 24: Legacy – FOX

Corey Hawkins takes over from Kiefer Sutherland as the real time action thriller returns

It's tough replacing your lead actor. Kiefer Sutherland's rough, gruff Jack Bauer was 24. A one-man army fighting to keep America safe. A man willing to bloody his fists, making impossible decisions with no compromise, while delivering all his lines in a menacing growling whisper. So Corey Hawkins (Straight Outta Compton) has some big shoes to fill.

A terrorist death squad is on American soil targeting US soldiers. Out for vengeance after an elite squad of Army Rangers killed Sheik Ibrahim Bin-Khalid in Yemen. After the rest of his unit have been murdered Eric Carter (Hawkins) has a big target on his back. Meanwhile at the Counter Terrorism Unit Rebecca Ingram (Miranda Otto) is preparing to hand over to new boss Keith Mullins (Teddy Sears) as she gets drawn into this latest conspiracy. There's also a subplot involving a suspected teen extremist at high school and we're assuming Ingram's husband, Senator John Donovan (Jimmy Smits), will get dragged into the melee.

The theme music is enough to set your heart racing. Then the ominous voiceover announces 'the following takes place between 12pm and 1pm' and your pulse starts pounding. 24 is all about pace and unstoppable forward momentum. The quick cuts between the surveillance team at CTU and Carter getting down and dirty on the streets hyping the tension. Opening hard and strong with multiple shoot outs and fist fights across the first episode. The real time concept amping the adrenaline, imbuing every scene with a sense of desperate urgency.

Even with Sutherland gone the format is so tight it still works. Hawkins is less angry and brutal but still makes for a lean, mean protagonist.

24 was always about twists and turns and even in Legacy's pilot there's talk of a leak at CTU. We're expecting multiple flip flops and double crosses. It was often ridiculous but that's what made 24 so exciting, you never knew who to trust. And anyone who's seen the trailer will know (spoiler alert) Tony Almeida (Carlos Bernard) will be back, providing continuity with 24's glory days.

It's ludicrous, over the top and sometimes panders to right wing ideology (reinforcing an ultra-aggressive stance on foreign policy), however 24 is perhaps the most stupidly addictive and exhilarating show on TV. Of course we miss Jack but 24 is back. With a bang.

24: Legacy, FOX UK, Wed 15 Feb, 9pm.

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