Released August, 2012
Directed By Jay Roach
Starring Will Ferrell, Zach Galifianakis, Jason Sudeikis, Katherine LaNasa, Dylan McDermott, John Lithgow, and Dan Akroyd
The Campaign is a political comedy about a Democratic congressman of North Carolina’s 14th District named Cam Brady (Ferrell), who is running for his fifth term unopposed. He is taken on by newcomer Republican candidate, Marty Huggins (Galifianakis). The film centers around the two candidates and their war against one another to win the election.
The film is about politics, obviously, but it does something very respectable. It doesn’t give cheap jabs to one particular party. It’s unbiased and fair. This is the first thing you should know, because it’s something I admired about the movie. The Campaign is genuinely funny. It has some memorable moments, such as when Cam Brady punches a baby and when Marty Huggins and his family discuss their “secrets” at the dinner table. There is a ton of satirical humor here, which makes it a little more diverse.
The Campaign offers up a plethora of political humor. It’s packed to the brim with both Republican and Democratic cliches and stereotypes. It’s something anyone with political knowledge can relate to and laugh at. Although the film is very funny, it does struggle to stay funny. It’s inconsistent at times, but that’s what you get with a mediocre script. There’s some great dialogue here, but the script writing feels a little stale. The biggest mistake the film makes is replacing the unfunny moments with vulgarity and sexually inappropriate humor. I don’t mean just inappropriate, sometimes it tries way too hard to be funny that it ends up looking awkward and desperate, which hurts it a ton. Prepare to be offended in one way or another. For instance, Ferrell’s character tends to sleep with any female that looks his way, including Huggins’ own wife. It gets ridiculous after a while.
The acting is bar none here, being driven by it’s two leads. Ferrell is great as the sleazebag congressman and Galifiankis steals the show as the flat-out hilarious Republican challenger. It’s one of his most memorable characters to date. He’s very original and the accent alone will make you chuckle with joy. Superb performance by Galifiankis. The film explores politics in a light, but effective way. The story is passable, but it’s pretty basic at it’s core. Two guys running against one another, while getting into a ton of trouble and endless drama ensuing. The happenings of these two hilarious characters is definitely entertaining, to say the least. The pacing here is solid. Each scene is necessary and understandable. It all contributes to the inevitable end, in which one must win and one must lose. The ending itself is both good and bad. It’s the one moment that is a little cliche, yet emotionally rich.
Overall, The Campaign is a welcome addition in the comedy genre. It’s genuinely funny, has great acting, and it’s political overtone is fresh. Despite it’s strengths, some will be offended by it’s antics. The film also has a mediocre script and lacks emotion. It’s flawed, but funny.
3.5 out of 5