Armed men hijack a New York City subway train, holding the passengers hostage in return for a ransom, and turning an ordinary day's work for dispatcher Walter Garber into a face-off with the mastermind behind the crime.
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
The movie opens with Marco's and Shaw's fellow soldiers playing a card game; this is a reference to The Manchurian Candidate (1962), in which cards play a very important role in the plot. See more »
In the opening Gulf War scene when SFC Shaw is telling the men inside the transport that they will be moving out soon, one of the men presses the stop button on a stereo CD player to stop the music playing. The music stops, but it can be clearly seen that the CD was never spinning in the first place. 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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Less powerful, less edgy, and less intelligent than the original.
Three months ago I watched the original Manchurian Candidate on DVD. I was amazed on how good this movie is, and how well it holds up after 42 years of its release in movie theaters.
So, yesterday when I watched the 2004 version directed by Jonathan Demme it was impossible for me not to compare the two films.
Without the existence of the original, Demme's effort could be defined as a good (not outstanding) political thriller and it's easy to think that this definition is compatible with the general opinion of today's audiences.
But (a big but) in reality there is an original, and it is so good, so brave, and so well written that this new version almost feels pointless.
In adapting the story to modern day Jonathan Demme made more wrong choices than good ones diminishing the power and intensity of the original.
This remake took out some key dramatic elements that work marvelously in the original film inserting some new and poorly written plot twists changing and damaging the dramatic resolution.
This version is inferior in almost every level (the only exception is the acting). It is less powerful, less edgy, and less intelligent.
Fortunately for Demme the original picture is not as well known as classics like 'Casablanca' and this will allow his film to find a moderate positive acceptance.
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