The Manchurian Candidate

This summer everything is under control.

Another remake in the season, what's up with hollywood at the moment! The original from 1962-ish (set post Korean War) starred Frank Sinatra, Laurence Harvey and Janet Leigh, this new version stars Denzel Washington and is post Gulf War (the first one).

When his army unit was ambushed during the Gulf War, Sergeant Raymond Shaw (Liev Schreiber) saved his fellow soldiers just as his commanding officer, Major Ben Marco (Washington), was knocked unconscious. Brokering the incident for political capital, Shaw eventually becomes a vice-presidential nominee, while Marco is haunted by dreams of what happened -- or didn't happen -- in Iraq. As Marco investigates, the story begins to unravel, to the point where he questions if it happened at all. Is it possible the entire unit was kidnapped and brainwashed to believe Shaw is a war hero as part of a plot to seize the White House? Some very powerful people at Manchurian Global corporation appear desperate to stop him from finding out.

This is your basic lost memory, regain memory, find out bad stuff happened film. It is quite long, and quite weird in places (Shaw's relationship with his mother is freudian at best!) and there is a great little homage to the early Bond films with the secret lab. I enjoyed this film when I saw it, the director has got a strange balance between the farcical and the unnerving that leaves you wondering what you've just seen.

Also I would watch Farenheit 9/11 right after you see this film, and then wonder....

Rotten Tomatoes Score:



Drama, Mystery, Thriller


Richard Condon, George Axelrod, Daniel Pyne


Jonathan Demme


Jeffrey Wright, Pablo Schreiber, Anthony Mackie, Dorian Missick, Jose Pablo Cantillo


Rachel Portman


129 minutes








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