What’s the best way to wait for the last few states to finish calculating the 2020 election results (instead of continuously clicking refresh on an election result website)? Watch the 2004 political neo-noir sci fi movie The Manchurian Candidate!
Relevancy of The Manchurian Candidate in 2020
This 2004 remake of The Manchurian Candidate released one election cycle after Florida’s 2000 “hanging chad” debacle. This lead to George W. Bush, of the powerful Bush political family, moving into the White House despite losing the popular vote.
At the time, America was at war in both Afghanistan and Iraq, with the latter started under false pretenses. Conspiracy theorists claimed the American government orchestrated the 9/11 attacks to stoke the flame of a second Gulf War. The US was ready for a new conspiracy film that played on the new fears citizens of the US had with the Bush administration.
The 1962 version of The Manchurian Candidate released during the peak of the Cold War and focused on brainwashing. However, the 2004 remake relies on human experimentation and embedded mind-control nanotechnology. I categorize the remake as sci fi because of this change.
The premise of both films created fictionalized politicians to avoid coming off as overly partisan. However, one major difference separates the two movies. The 1962 version of The Manchurian Candidate used Communism as the “bad guy” and the 2004 version uses “evil corporations” instead. Oh, and this occurs while the country awaits the results of a presidential election. Now do you see why this is a great movie to watch while waiting for the 2020 election results?
Brief Summary of the Movie
In this 2004 remake of the 1962 movie of the same name, Major Bennett “Ben” Marco (Denzel Washington) is a 1991 Gulf War veteran who commanded a famous U.S. Army raid. Sergeant First Class Raymond Shaw (Liev Schreiber), a member of Major Marco’s army unit, received the Medal of Honor for single-handedly rescuing all but two of his men and defeating the enemy. Shaw went on to become a U.S. Congressman and eventually a candidate for vice president.
The trouble begins when one of Major Marco’s former soldiers, Corporal Al Melvin (Jeffrey Wright), tells Marco he experiences confusing dream-like memories about their lost army unit. Soon thereafter, Marco starts having dreams about being captured during the famous raid. He also dreams of being brainwashed by a team of scientists. In this dream, he and Shaw murder their fellow soldiers. Because of this, Marco travels to New York and begins investigating what really happened during the war.
Eventually, Marco discovers an experimental nanotech implant in Shaw’s back. I don’t want to give any more away, so I’ll leave it for you to watch the movie to discover what happens next.
Now is the perfect time to watch as many sci fi movies as you can. I know you’re tired of hitting refresh and watching 24×7 news, waiting for the 2020 election results. You can even spend 10 hours watching Dust’s sci fi short films as I did. Who knows whether the US will erupt in violence. I’ve seen social media posts and comments ranging from civil unrest all the way to civil war. It’s such a shame. At least there’s one place you can turn to escape from this political drama: science fiction!