Monday’s Movie Musings: Could a film version of 24 really work?

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(Spoilers)

Whenever a television series becomes a massive global success, you can guarantee that talk will always turn to a film version. From Friends to the more recent Game Of Thrones; attempts at cinematic translations from the TV to the big-screen often turn out fruitless, Sex and the City being the awful exception to the rule. One show that has had a particular roller-coaster ride concerning this is 24, the hit thriller that started in 2001 and chronicles the real time adventures of Jack Bauer as he thwarts various terrorist plots.

Talk first began of a feature length film around 2006, the plan being to shoot it between series 6 and 7. Still heavily involved in the running of the show however, we instead were given a straight to TV prequel to the next season, titled Redemption. Despite its feature length run time, this still felt more like an extended episode as opposed to a cinematic film and talk of 24: The Movie, subsequently died until the shows end in 2009.

Since it’s finale, a whirlwind of rumours surrounded the production of the film, a personal favourite of mine being the bizarre suggestion of a crossover with the Die Hard franchise that would see a John McClane/Jack Bauer team-up. Nothing was to come out of this and the countless other rumours and in 2013 it was officially announced that the film was suspended due to apparent budgetary reasons. Every cloud has a silver lining though and in the same statement it was announced that 24 would at least return for another series.

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Released today on Blu-Ray and DVD and subtitled Live Another Day, the action was to be condensed down to half of the usual episode count and relocate from America to the UK. The story itself focuses once again on Jack Bauer who has been on the run for four years since the events of season eight, and re-surfaces in London to stop an attempted assassination on the visiting President James Heller. Reinvigorated since it’s hiatus; the series was welcomed back with welcome arms by fans and critics alike, the smaller amount of episodes making for a much more contained and better constructed story line.

Because of its positive reaction, once again there are rumblings of the next Jack Bauer adventure taking place on the big-screen, but could a 24 movie really work? To put it simply, yes, I think it almost certainly could work but only as a swan song to the show. Live Another Day has already proved that the concept can work without a full run of 24 episodes and the concept itself just cries out blockbuster.

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Throughout its history we’ve already been treated to moments that are bigger and more worthy of the cinema than some of the films released week in, week out. From countless explosions and gun-fights, to even a jumbo-jet being landed on a freeway, the scale of 24 has bordered on epic a number of times. Given a bigger budget, who knows what other treats the writers could come up with?

It all comes down to story though and if a 24 movie were to be made, it would have to be Jack Bauer’s swan song. Let’s face it, Bauer has been through the ringer enough times and after the shock death at the end of Live Another Day, how much more can he go through before we don’t really care anymore?

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With the season ending with Jack being taken to Russia, presumably to be tortured and imprisoned for his crazed massacre in season 8; this provides the perfect opportunity to end things in a filmic way. If it were to be set in Russia, this would prove to be visually and narratively worthy of the cinema and the Bauer/Russia storyline could finally be wrapped up in a big, all guns blazing fashion.

Money is ultimately the deciding factor however and if one 24 movie proved successful, you can guarantee a green light for a sequel. Whilst I think the concept has far from had its day, I would say its end should come sooner or later. A new mini series would be great but the prospect of a show with so many twists, turns and thrills being closed out on the big screen is too exciting an idea to waste.

What are your views? Would you like to see 24 take to the big screen or come back for another series? Leave your comments below.

Next Week: Is teen fiction Hollywood’s new favourite sub-genre?

Image credits to http://www.brunchnews.com, http://www.comicbookmovie.com and http://www.o.canada.com

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