Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Heavy Metal: 24 and Terminator - Reviewed!

- Well, 24 is now officially METAL GEAR BAUER. We've got a rapidly deteriorating hero, a standoff against a rogue PMC ... all we need is someone to cry out "Jack? JACK?! JAAAACK!" and the parallel is complete.

That said, last night's episode of TWENTY BY-GOD FOUR was intense as hell and barely let up for a second. We got INFECTED BAUER decommisioned and laying low at FBI HQ, cleared of murder charges only to find out that he's now a dead man walking. We got AARON PIERCE, AGENT OF GRAVITAS re-hired by the President's daughter, taking only a few scant hours to nurse his bullet wounds before returning to active duty. We got TONY ALMEDA behind enemy lines, using the power of the SOUL PATCH to wreak unholy vengeance on Starkwood. Tony was saved from certain death by a rogue Starkwood suit, only to find out that his benefactor had duped him in an effort to buy his boss time. Now, we're left with the U.S. Armed Forces in a stalemate standoff with the PMC mercenaries of Starkwood, Inc., in a showdown that seems poised to break out into one hell of a battle royale.

Great stuff with Jack this week - even though he was mostly sidelined, Kiefer stole the show as he reluctantly dealt with the fact that he was infected with Starkwood's bioweapon and was now a liability in the field.

Only negatives are a continued cheese-factor at the White House, with the Presiden't daughter going from being a nobody to being her mother's right-hand woman in record time. I realize that 24 works on an accellerated timeline, but this is a bit much. Rick Berman for new chief of staff!

Still, hot damn, business picked up this week in the 24-verse. Tons of action, intensity, and yes, gravitas. And Jon Voight continues to do a great job as the resident Big Bad. His snake-like malevolance and casual demeanor make him one of the best baddies 24 has had in a while. Can't wait for next week.

My Grade: A

- I also recently caught up with TERMINATOR: THE SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES. After a couple of above-average episodes that had some really nice twists and turns, this week's ep was decent, but was surprisingly slow-paced and boring given all that happened. Again, a lot happened, but so little of it had the impact or dramatic weight that you'd expect. Cromartie is seemingly infected with a virus sent by some protoypical version of SkyNet -- and yet, it felt like just another speedbump in the plodding and neverending Cromartie storyline. Where is the payoff already? Similarly, the Charley developments could have been dramatic, but everything just felt out-of-nowhere and anticlimactic. I wasn't even sure why he and John were attacked, or by whom. Plus, the character was never really strong enough for us to really get behind in the first place. With only a few episode left in the season, I can only hope that this show really picks up the pace and begins delivering on the potential that so far has only been hinted at.

My Grade: B-

- Alright, just a short entry for today. Today's entry brought to you by THE POWER OF AWESOME. That is all.

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