After a ferry is bombed in New Orleans, an A.T.F. agent joins a unique investigation using experimental surveillance technology to find the bomber, but soon finds himself becoming obsessed with one of the victims.
When his army unit was ambushed during the first Gulf War, Sergeant Raymond Shaw saved his fellow soldiers just as his commanding officer, then-Captain Ben Marco, 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 Kuwait. As Marco (now a Major) 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. Written by
Entertainment Weekly reported that Meryl Streep watched political talk shows to prepare for her role: "anything with Peggy Noonan, Karen Hughes... it's hard to get more hyperbolic than that." She didn't watch the original film until after filming wrapped. See more »
In the election war room, when Shaw's mother is rallying to get her son on the ballot, she stands in front of an electoral map that lists Wyoming as having 8 electoral votes and Colorado with 3. These numbers, if written by a "political expert" would be switched. See more »
So why don't we just go directly right up in this route, straight in...
Yes, I see the Captain enjoys the road less-traveled.
No, the Captain enjoys not going down the highway, draggin' his ass so every Tom, Dick, Gaddafi can take a whack at it.
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After achieving only so-so results in reworking an old classic with the timid "The Truth About Charlie," director Jonathan Demme confidently updates "The Manchurian Candidate." Here he prevents the viewer from being distracted into keeping active count of the differences between his film and the original; the viewer can relax and watch an "original" film from the beginning. Demme immediately establishes his own distinctive approach: Bring characterization to the foreground. The original was compelling mainly due to its novel and intricate plot, but the acting was no-frills. Demme and his actors -- Denzel Washington, Meryl Streep, Liev Schreiber (and even minor players like Jeffrey Wright) -- create characters that are fleshed-out and human. They are far from the chess pieces of the original and thus better draw us into the film, offering the viewer an emotional entry point and a rooting human interest from beginning to end. While not superior to the original -- conspiracies in of themselves simply have lost their ability to shock these days -- the new "Candidate" achieves its own success by being a rare thriller: one that is emotionally moving.
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