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The Campaign


That freedom of speech clause really comes in handy when your politicians slip up and completely embarrass themselves, doesn’t it? Being a comedian in this day and age just gets easier and easier despite the growing competition and demand to live up to the greats. What happens when you combine politicians’ inability to be universally appealing and a comedian’s desire to mock everything? The Campaign happens.  

Grade:

Cam Brady (Will Ferrell) is a multi-term congressman from the 14th district of North Carolina. He has been unopposed election after election, until now. The ultra-rich—and thinly-veiled—Motch brothers (John Lithgow and Dan Aykroyd) decide to take part in this small election by throwing impressionable Marty Huggins (Zach Galifianakis) into the race. As Huggins and Brady fight for supremacy, the Motch brothers are working towards their newest endeavor: insourcing. The Campaign also stars Jason Sudeikis and Dylan McDermott (the campaign managers), as well as Brian Cox.

Right off the bat you are wondering how openly critical of certain politicians The Campaign will be. Thankfully, not very. While there certainly are plenty of political references, the movie finds a decent balance to its criticism of each party and mostly focuses on the idiocy of modern political debates/forums/practices in general. For instance, the smear campaign tactic is taken to a new level when Marty calls Cam a socialist for wanting equality for everyone…in a story Brady wrote in the second grade. It’s all in good fun and ends up being closer to many SNL skits put together than anything else.

The second thing you are wondering is if Will Ferrell can be comedic in a different manner than found in insert movie he’s done in the last seven years. The simple answer to that is, no—actually, the complex answer is quite similar: of course not. Ferrell runs around improvising eighty percent of his lines with the same ridiculous screaming. I am almost ashamed to admit it still makes me chuckle, but you have to be curious what goes on in his head on a daily basis for him to come up with this stuff so consistently.

Meanwhile, Galifianakis continues his comedic preference for choosing to portray really bizarre and socially inept people. Marty is a little better than Alan (The Hangover), but he is still incredibly awkward. The real surprise, for me anyway, was Dylan McDermott. I had never seen him in anything despite knowing his name and face (seriously, I checked his IMDB. Nothing.), so when he ended up being a big source of humor, I was pleasantly surprised. It helped make up for the fact that the always-excellent Aykroyd and Lithgow were grossly underused.

In any event, there are no surprises here. I can confidently say that you will not come out of The Campaign still laughing or shocked at how much you laughed. You will, however, learn the political leanings of a few crowd members as there will no doubt be some claps or woo’s when certain references are made. If you like Ferrell and Galifianakis and want to see what they can come up with when paired together, you could do far worse than The Campaign.

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  1. Yeah this movie was not as funny as I was expecting. I think I am finally growing tired of Ferrell’s humor. You were dead on about crowds reviews their political stances when certain references were made. Even though this movie (for the most part) is pretty neutral.

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