In the original, the protagonist was a US soldier captured and brainwashed by the Communists. His 'controller', his mother, a communist agent and wife of a US right wing Senator, manipulated her son by suggesting he play solitaire. This then triggered him into a deep zombie-like state, doing whatever terrible deeds she ordered. In the 2004 remake, more to the liking of this writer, the mother was actually a 'deep state' operative working with some neocon 'One World' group. The son was the brainwashed soldier who was manipulated by mind control in the same manner, more or less, as in the original film.
Well, it is 2017 and what we see here in our 'Amerika' is the 'deep state', a.k.a. the super-rich run Military-Industria- Empire. They have a much more subtle control mechanism: The media and this phony 'One Party' political system.
The total controlled media spits out endless propaganda and narcotizing low-brow crapola to keep the natives pacified and at the same time impassioned with what many call 'military madness'. As with Orwell's 1984 novel, the constant barrage of outside threats to our security bundled with endless salutes to our invading and occupying forces overseas keeps many ready to almost 'Sig Heil'.
Under the phony Bush/Cheney cabal, they had those inane colored terror threats, asking us to actually use duct tape on our windows! Remember that nonsense? Now the media has North Korea and Iran, and of course the group that our own 'deep state' helped create, the ISIS or whatever they now call them. Meanwhile, the empire continues to get what they want from this 'One Party-Two Party' phony political system in the way of more and more of our tax money going for military spending (over 50% as I write).
The 'One-Two Party' phony system will always agree on one thing: A strong 'offense', err sorry, a strong defense. The so called two parties will also argue in front of the cameras and the embedded press over viable healthcare. Yet, the choices they throw out to all the 'Manchurian Amerikans' is either a total sellout to the private insurance part of the empire, or going back to the partial sellout under ObamaCare. And you can watch all the zombie neighbors of yours going against their own interests while arguing for one or the other.
So, the proud Manchurian Amerikans will tell you "I'm a Republican" or "I'm a Democrat" and then wonder why we have NO money for better infrastructure, better schools, better first providers, better health care, better rapid transit (duh, like the rest of the industrial world enjoys), and on and on.
When over half of our hard earned working-stiff tax revenue goes to the Pentagon and other 'black budgets' to fuel this beast of a military empire... I guess it's time to play some more solitaire.