24: Legacy is Fox’s attempt to revive the legendary action series, but this time out Jack Bauer is getting the day off. The revival focuses on ex-Army Ranger Eric Carter, played by Corey Hawkins (Straight Outta Compton), as dangerous figures from his military past follow him home, thrusting him on the run and seeking the help of the government’s now revived CTU (Counter Terrorism Unit) to save his life and stop a related massive terrorist threat to the United States.
This new update will consist of twelve episodes that occur in real time, with the pilot episode (aka the first hour) airing directly after the Super Bowl (‘Merica!) and episode 1:00PM to 2:00PM airing the following night. Fans can expect most of the ingredients that made the original series unique, including multi-panel shots, twists, multiple plotlines – which all feels seamless since 24: Legacy brings back most of the original creative team.
But the first few episodes of 24: Legacy are just missing that little bit extra that would tip the scales toward a more gripping show. Corey Hawkins is a fine actor and quite good in the role of Eric Carter, but Kiefer Sutherland was lightning in a bottle as Jack Bauer and a huge reason why that version was such a success. Things aren’t helped by the fact that 24: Legacy still has the original’s trademark horrible B and C plots that are the usual mix of tedious and downright laughable.
But if there are issues with the show, it isn’t the fault of a fine cast of supporting actors. Miranda Otto (Lord of the Rings) stars as Rebecca Ingram, the former head of CTU, and wife of presidential hopeful Senator John Donovan (played by the always endearing Jimmy Smits, once again playing a moral and likable politician). Ingram has a history with Carter and is sucked into the growing threat while visiting her old CTU office and Otto is excellent as she desperately tries to save the day.
Charlie Hofheimer plays Carter’s ex-partner and former Army Ranger Ben Grimes who is suffering from some serious PTSD. He has connections to the terrorists looking for Carter and has something both sides want – so naturally, now he’s on the run as well and it’s imperative that Carter finds him. The Flash‘s Teddy Sears, aka fake Jay Garrick, stars as the current head of CTU and previous underling of Ingram. Sears has really got the ambiguous hero or villain thing down and it’s fun to watch him spar with Ingram in the early episodes.
Unfortunately from there the cast talent begins to deteriorate in the lesser storylines needed to pad out the episodes, that include an attractive foreign high school girl whom a classmate suspects of terrorist ties, Carter’s wife hiding out with his gangster brother, and a CTU Ed Helms lookalike techie who has interoffice relationship issues.
Much like the original Sutherland-starring 24, this new series has the benefit of releasing during a very volatile and dangerous time in politics surrounding America’s future and relations with foreign nations. Unfortunately the show doesn’t start out firing on all cylinders and has some work to do before it becomes the water cooler series of old.
To 24: Legacy‘s favor, it does move along at a nice pace and there are some pretty tense and exciting action sequences that make up for the slow parts, but aside from the nostalgia of hearing those seconds ticking away, the early episodes seem to be just treading water in the wake of the original 24 – but only time and the remaining episodes will tell if the show can become a success on its own merits.
Fans of the original series will feel right at home with this revival, but despite a very solid cast, the early episodes feel like they are missing that extra punch, instead settling for running through the motions of the basic tried and true '24' formula.