The Campaign is a good meld of political satire and mainstream Hollywood comedy. Instead of the Adam Sandler brand of cine-skid marks, Will Ferrell attempting to find another sport to mock or Zach Galifiakis’ wolf packs adventures we’ve got political satire…in disguise. If you're a fan of the absurdist humour of Ferrell's oeuvre, and the vivid quirky weirdos that Galifianakis brings to life then you're getting two for the price of one.
When long running unopposed Senator of North Carolina - Cam Brady (Ferrell) starts to lose popularity after a series of scandals -corporate America in the form of the Motch Brothers (Dan Akroyd and John Lithgow) decide that they need to back a puppet candidate for their greedy agenda. Marty Huggins (Galifianakis) is the dim-witted son of one of the Mosh Bros. and is selected as the man for the job.
In the style of what you’ve come to expect from director Jay Roach (Austin Powers & Meet the Parents) and Ferrell – there are a lot of laughs at the expense of the weird characters and their eccentric and deranged families; but the real steady laughs are at the farce that U.S politics have become. The closer that the comedy treads the line of imitation - rather than amplification – the more enjoyable it is. Commendations to those involved for a more ‘engaged’ and ‘present’ film than I’ve seen from anyone involved. And on both journeys they were able to reinforce that these men were made into generic cookie-cut political characters with catch cries of “JESUS” and “FREEDOM.”
Ferrell loves wrestling with the backward talking and spin of Cam Brady. Brady is the aesthetically perfect politician, which behind the looks is just a bundle of adolescence. Brady’s as dumb as George Bush Jr and as horny as Bill Clinton.
Galifianakis is the sweet and unassuming family 'beta' child. He’s quirky, frumpy, not very sharp and prime choice to be moulded into corporate puppet. His transformation awakens a genuine political contender unwilling to sacrifice morals for financial backing.
Dylan McDermott’s amoral campaign manager, Brian Cox’s horrendous father, and Karen Maruyama’s potty-mouthed maid all provide outstanding guest spots.
The Campaign has my vote. Two mainstream comedy titans have managed to make an accessible yet biting satire of the ridiculous state of American politics.
[rating=3] and a half
Directed by: Jay Roach
Written by: Chris Henchy and Shawn Harwell
Starring: Will Ferrell, Zach Galifianakis, Jason Sudeikis, Dylan McDermott, Sarah Baker, John Lithgow, Dan Ackroyd, Brian Cox and Karen Maruyama
The Campaign is released in Australia on the 9th of August and in the U.S.A on the 10th of August 2012.
Blake Howard is a writer, a podcaster, the editor-in-chief & co-founder of Australian film blog Graffiti With Punctuation. Beginning his criticism APPRENTICESHIP as co-host of That Movie Show 2UE, Blake is now a member of the prestigious Online Film Critic Society, sways the Tomato Meter with Rotten Tomatoes approved reviews. See his articulated words and shrieks (mostly) here at Graffitiwithpunctuation.com and with DarkHorizons.com & 2SER Sydney weekly on Gaggle of Geeks.